Written by Riath Al-Samarrai for the Daily Mail
20:21 October 10, 2023, updated 22:59 October 10, 2023
- LIV Golf was optimistic that it had reached the eligibility threshold
- However, on Tuesday their application was rejected by the OWGR committee
- New WhatsApp Mail Sport channel: here you will find the latest news and exclusive information
Greg Norman’s LIV course failed in its latest attempt to get it into the world golf rankings.
The breakaway was optimistic that they had reached the eligibility threshold after 17 months of trying, especially at a time when their pariah status had softened following the merger with golf’s traditional factions last summer.
However, they were once again rejected by the Official World Golf Rankings committee, which once again found that LIV’s modest promotion and relegation measures put it at odds with the 24 other tournaments it recognizes.
“We are not at war with them,” said Peter Dawson, president of the OWGR, who wrote directly to Norman to explain the denial.
“The decision not to grant them powers is not political. It’s completely technical. LIV players are clearly good enough to be ranked. They simply don’t play in a format where they can be ranked on par with the other 24 tournaments and the thousands of players trying to compete in them.
OWGR has long noted the discrepancy between existing major tournaments and the LIV format, which combines team and individual play over 54 holes with no cuts.
Their bigger objection centers on the limited relegation options, with only the bottom four of the 48-man squad losing their place at the end of the season.
A further complication is that some players are contractually protected from relegation until 2025 at the earliest.
The decision to deny LIV ranking points for now is significant because the OWGR rankings are the main gateway for golfers to gain access to major tournaments.
The rankings were also held up by U.S. Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson as the reason he wasn’t serious about any LIV golfer other than Brooks Koepka on his team earlier this month.
Interestingly, Dawson played golf on Friday with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund chief Yasir Al-Rumayyan at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland.
In a statement, LIV said: “OWGR’s sole purpose is to rank the best players around the world. Today’s announcement makes it clear that this goal can no longer be achieved.
“Historically, players have been subject to a single world ranking to qualify for major championships, major events and contract values with corporate sponsors. A ranking that does not fairly represent all participants, regardless of where in the world they play golf, deprives fans, players and all golf stakeholders of the objective basis on which any accurate recognition of the best performance of players in the world is based. It also robs some traditional tournaments of the best possible fields.
“Professional golf currently does not have a true, global scoring and ranking system. A lack of trust and transparency brings no benefits to fans or players until players’ best performances are recognized.
“LIV will continue to strive to level the market so that fans, broadcasters and sponsors have the confidence of an independent and objective ranking system and the pure pleasure of watching the best golf in the world.”
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