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LIV Golf withdraws request for world-ranking points

LIV Golf withdraws request for world-ranking points

LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman informed players on Tuesday that the league has withdrawn its application for world-ranking points.

The league requested accreditation with the Official World Golf Ranking in July 2022 but last October ranking officials denied that request because “they’re just not playing in a format where they can be ranked equitably with the other 24 tours and thousands of players trying to compete on them,” Peter Dawson, the chairman of the ranking board, told the Associated Press.

“This is not a decision that we made lightly,” Norman wrote in a memo to players who are preparing for this week’s LIV Golf event in Hong Kong. “After spending the last 18 months in almost constant dialogue with various members of the OWGR Technical Committee and board, it is now clear that the best way forward for LIV as a league and you as LIV golfers is not through the current ranking system.

“A resolution which protects the accuracy, credibility, and integrity of the OWGR rankings no longer exists.”

The world ranking’s primary concern with awarding the new league points was a lack of player pathways onto the new circuit as well as the team aspect of LIV Golf’s competitions. The league’s smaller fields and 54-hole format could be accounted for via mathematical format, Dawson said.

“We have made enormous efforts to fight for you and to ensure your accomplishments are recognized within the existing ranking system,” Norman wrote. “Unfortunately, the OWGR has shown little willingness to productively work with us.”

Norman also called for an independent ranking that recognizes how the game is “expanding and modernizing” and said he plans “to seek meaningful communication and relationship with each of the majors to ensure that LIV Golfers are fairly represented.”

There are just four players from LIV Golf ranked inside the top 50 in the world – No. 3 Jon Rahm, No. 17 Tyrrell Hatton, No. 30 Brooks Koepka and No. 50 Cam Smith – and Norman conceded that even if his league were granted ranking points “the system is designed such that it would be functionally impossible for you to regain positions close to the summit of the ranking, where so many of you belong.”

Two weeks ago, Augusta National announced it was granting a special invitation to LIV Golf’s Joaquin Niemann into this year’s Masters and on Monday the PGA of America offered a similar invitation for the Chilean to play the PGA Championship.

Following his victory on Sunday at the LIV Golf event in Saudi Arabia, his second triumph this year, Niemann took another shot at the ranking when asked about his status as a favorite heading into the major championships. “How is that possible if I'm like 100 in the world?” Niemann shot back.