PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan, European Tour CEO Keith Pelley and Keith Waters of the International PGA Tours Federation withdrew from LIV Golf’s decision to avoid a conflict of interest; LIV Golf may re-enter the Official World Golf Ranking
By Related press
19:57, UK, Tuesday 10 October 2023
LIV Golf plays purely for money, not world ranking points, after the Official World Golf Rankings board concluded it was unable to reliably measure the 48-player league against the other 24 tournaments around the world.
OWGR rejected Saudi-backed LIV Golf’s application, first submitted in July 2022, after the league had already played two of the 54-hole no-cut tournaments.
“We are not at war with them,” said Peter Dawson, chairman of the OWGR board, when contacted Press Association.
“This decision not to grant them powers is not political. It is completely technical in nature.
“LIV players are obviously good enough to be ranked. They just 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.”
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan, European Tour CEO Keith Pelley and Keith Waters of the International PGA Tours Federation earlier withdrew from LIV Golf’s decision to avoid a conflict of interest.
The PGA Tour, the European tour and Saudi sponsors LIV Golf (Public Investment Fund) are currently working on the commercial partnership, which was announced in June.
The committee that rejected LIV’s request included leaders from Augusta National, the PGA of America, the U.S. Golf Association and The R&A, which governs the four major tournaments. Major companies use OWGR as part of their eligibility criteria.
LIV Golf debuted in June 2022, and players who joined the rival league were suspended by the PGA Tour and European tour, ensuring their only access to points was through majors.
When LIV Golf completed its inaugural season, it had 12 players in the top 50 in the world (led by British Open champion Cameron Smith) and 24 in the top 100. In this week’s rankings, Smith (15th) and PGA champion Brooks Koepka (18th) are the only players in the top 50, and LIV only has six players in the top 100.
Those no longer in the top 100 include Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau and Talor Gooch, who has three LIV Golf wins this year.
“Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, obviously, they should be ranked,” Dawson added. “We have to find a way to do this.
“I hope LIV finds a solution – not so much a format that can be solved with a mathematical formula, but qualifications and relegations.”
LIV Golf may once again apply to join the OWGR system, although management has made it clear that turnover, objective access to LIV Golf and the relegation of underperforming players remain key factors in earning ranking points.
“Hammer Stroke Ruling at LIV Golf”
Jamie Weir from Sky Sports News:
“Basically, LIV Golf was self-made. Their format, which resembles a closed shop, is the reason why they will not receive points in the world rankings – as things currently stand.
“They can change their format and reapply, but the fact that it’s the same 48 players competing against each other all the time – there’s not enough fluctuation, there’s not enough promotion and relegation to change that – that’s what means that under the OWGR rules they’re not eligible to earn ranking points.
“Players such as Phil Mickelson, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter are guaranteed contracts, where no matter how they perform – and at the moment they are all outside the LIV top 24 – they are guaranteed a place next year.
“I guess if you think of it as a young golfer trying to work his way up the PGA Tour and you have to fight your way up, that’s when you start gaining points in the world rankings. Well, how to do it? Is it fair then that someone invited on a trip or to a closed shop receives points in the world rankings from the very moment of showing up? This is a real problem.
“As I said, they can still apply for readmission, but there is no doubt that this is a blow to LIV Golf.
“But the main caveat we must make here is that no one, and I mean no one, in world golf knows what the future holds. Right now, we’re all in a limbo where we don’t know what will happen. The result is a deal that took everyone by surprise in June between the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and the Saudi Public Investment Fund.
“What will men’s professional golf look like next year? Will LIV Golf still exist? Will players who have left be reinstated on the PGA Tour? Do they even want to join the PGA Tour again and what will be the course of the tour you will be looking for? These are all questions that have no answers at this time.
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