LIV Golf denied authority to rank players
Official World Golf Ranking says new tour will not be recognised 'for now'
The Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) board turned down LIV Golf’s formal request to allow players to compete for world ranking points.
LIV Golf submitted an application to OWGR in July 2022 after the Saudi-backed upstart league had played two of its 54-hole, no-cut, 48-player events.
Global Golf Post reviewed a copy of the letter in advance of the OWGR announcement on Tuesday.
“The board committee met recently to again review your OWGR submission in light of your latest responses to the committee’s questions and concerns,” OWGR president Peter Dawson wrote to LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman.
“At the meeting, the board committee unanimously determined that at this time the LIV Tour will not be recognised as an Eligible Golf Tour in the OWGR system.”
Dawson told Global Golf Post via telephone that the decision was based on format concerns and limited access to LIV Golf events.
“This is entirely technical. OWGR has no hostility toward LIV whatsoever,” Dawson said.
Ranking points have been a focus of LIV Golf since its inception in 2022.
“It diminishes the rankings if players like DJ [Dustin Johnson] and Bryson DeChambeau are not included. It would also diminish the ranking if the ranking rigor were reduced to include them,” Dawson said.
“The important point is, this is not about the players. LIV players are self-evidently good enough to be ranked; there is no doubt about that. This is about whether a tour whose formats are so different and whose qualification criteria are so different, can they be ranked equitably with other tours that conform to the OWGR norm and have more competition to them than perhaps the closed shop that is LIV?”
LIV Golf released a statement later criticising the decision, claiming “professional golf is now without a true or global scoring or ranking system”.
“OWGR’s sole objective is to rank the best players across the globe. Today’s communication makes clear that it can no longer deliver on that objective,” the statement reads in part.
“Players have historically remained subject to a single world ranking to qualify for Major championships, the biggest events, and for corporate sponsor contract value. A ranking which fails to fairly represent all participants, irrespective of where in the world they play golf, robs fans, players and all of golf’s stakeholders of the objective basis underpinning any accurate recognition of the world’s best player performances. It also robs some traditional tournaments of the best fields possible.”
Dawson noted that PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan and DP World Tour CEO Keith Pelley did not participate in the decision whether to include LIV in the ranking. The OWGR has an eight-member governing board that includes Dawson, who is a non-voting member of the committee.
The upstart league will contest its penultimate event — LIV Golf Jeddah — of the season this weekend before concluding its season in Miami next weekend.
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