LIV Golf players urge OWGR chairman to grant ranking points
All 48 players who competed at LIV Golf’s event outside Chicago over the weekend sent a joint letter to Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) Chairman Peter Dawson urging him to award ranking points to competitors on the Saudi Arabia-backed series.
The letter, dated Sept. 16 and shared by LIV Golf on Tuesday, included electronic signatures of every player in the field at Rich Harvest Farms where British Open champion Cameron Smith won in his second start on the lucrative circuit.
LIV Golf, which launched in June and has so far held five events, applied for recognition in golf’s world rankings – which play a key role in deciding entry into golf’s four majors – in July and their file remains under review.
According to the letter sent by the players, every week that passes without the inclusion of LIV Golf athletes “undermines the historical value” of the world rankings.
“To maintain trust, we urge you – as one of the true statesmen of sports – to act appropriately to include, on a retroactive basis, the results of LIV Golf events in OWGR’s ranking calculations,” the players wrote. “An OWGR without LIV would be incomplete and inaccurate.”
The letter was shared by LIV Golf four days after a Sports Illustrated report https://www.si.com/golf/news/liv-golf-growing-agitated-by-owgr-process which cited a source close to the situation saying officials from the upstart circuit feel they are “being slow played” by the OWGR.
According to the OWGR website, the ranking points breakdown is derived from each tournament’s total field rating and points are awarded players who make the cut and complete an event, subject to their finishing position in the tournament.
LIV Golf’s 54-hole events do not have a cut.
Organisers of golf’s four majors have not changed their qualifying rules but players who earned exemption into the blue-riband events due to past results could one day be left out as, for now, they are no longer earning world ranking points.
“We call on you to render a positive decision quickly – for the benefit of the integrity of the rankings, the game and all of us who love the sport,” the players said.
“After all, the fans deserve rankings that are inclusive and accurate. Failure to include 48 of the world’s best golfers would mean the fans are being denied what they deserve.”
LIV Golf, which last weekend had 12 major champions in the field, has lured some of the game’s biggest names away from the PGA Tour with the promise of guaranteed, big-money paydays and a reduced schedule.
Critics say LIV Golf, which is bankrolled by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, amounts to blatant “sportswashing” by a nation trying to improve its reputation in light of its history of human rights abuses.