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LIV Golf bid for ranking points rejected by official body

LIV Golf’s bid to be recognised by the sport’s global rankings body has been rejected, the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) organisation confirmed on Tuesday. 

OWGR said it had turned down LIV’s request due to the circuit’s 54-hole no-cut format and limited access for players to join the venture.

OWGR president Peter Dawson informed LIV chief executive Greg Norman of the decision in an open letter sent 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,” Dawson wrote in the letter. 

“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 said there was no “fair and equitable” way of including LIV Golf’s players in OWGR’s rankings.

The issue of whether LIV players should be granted rankings points has been a thorny subject of debate since the lavishly funded Saudi Arabia-backed circuit plunged golf into an acrimonious civil war last year.

Rankings points were seen as a crucial step in LIV’s developments, giving its players the chance to secure qualification for major championships.

Dawson told US media outlets that OWGR’s decision was not aimed at punishing players who had joined LIV.

“This is entirely technical. OWGR has no hostility toward LIV whatsoever,” Dawson was quoted as saying.

“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, should a tour whose formats are so different and whose qualification criteria are so different, can they be ranked equitably with other tours who conform to the OWGR norm and have more competition to them than perhaps the closed shop that is LIV?”

In a statement issued later Tuesday, LIV Golf slammed the OWGR ruling.

“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 circuit said. 

“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. Professional golf is now without a true or global scoring and ranking system.”  

The PGA Tour stunned world golf in June after announcing a shock agreement with the LIV’s Saudi paymasters aimed at ending the sport’s two-year civil war.

However firm details of how the “new collectively owned, for-profit entity” that will see the PGA Tour, Europe’s DP World Tour and LIV Golf merge have yet to be divulged.

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