Greg Norman, CEO and Commissioner, sent a letter to LIV golfers Wednesday stating that the new circuit should receive Official World Golf Ranking points for its events in a very near future.
ESPN obtained a copy from Normans letter. Norman stated in the letter that LIV golfs inclusion into the world ranking points system is necessary to ensure integrity, accuracy, fairness, and fairness of these rankings.
Norman said that LIV Golf officials submitted a request to the OWGR mid-July. It was discussed by the OWGR Technical Committee at the 150th Open Championship in St. Andrews.
Norman wrote, Without LIV’s inclusion in the rankings, the integrity accuracy and accuracy of those rankings are severely compromised. We are confident that the members on the Governing board of OWGR will appreciate and understand this critical consideration. We also trust that they will treat the development with the respect due and consistent with their responsibilities and duties as directors of Official World Golf Rankings.
LIV Golf players were not awarded OWGR World Ranking Points for the three first events in London, Portland, Oregon, or Bedminster, New Jersey.
Jay Monahan (PGA Tour commissioner) is one of eight members on the OWGR board. He has suspended players from LIV Golf tournaments that were not released to conflicting-event releases. Other members include DP World Tour CEO Keith Pelley, USGA CEO Mike Whan, R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers, PGA of America executive director Seth Waugh, Augusta National Golf Club executive director Will Jones and Keith Waters, who represents the International Federation of PGA Tours.
Norman wrote in the letter that Norman pointed out that based upon the OWGR system in use at the time, the three first LIV events would have had a stronger field than the two competing tournaments on DP World Tour or PGA Tours John Deere classic.
Several past major champions, including Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed, Bryson DeChambeau Phil Mickelson, have resigned from the PGA Tour in favor of LIV Golf, which is being financed through Saudi Arabias sovereign wealth funds.
The LIV Series features a large number of top players from around the world competing, which means that even though there are fewer fields than some other tour events and those held adjacent to the LIV Invitational events – the field is still very strong. [strength of field]Norman stated that the company remains highly competitive and is among the top in the industry.
LIV Golfs data indicates that the winners from its first three events would have climbed the world rankings significantly if they were awarded OWGR point. South Africas example: Charl SchwartzelThe inaugural London winner, , would have climbed from 85th to 125th. Branden GracePortlands first resident, he would have risen to 78th from 128th. Henrik StensonWinner in Bedminster, he would have moved up from 173rd position to 80th.
Currently, Schwartzel is ranked 121st on the OWGR, Grace 139th, and Stenson 176th.
To determine exemptions and fields in majors, the Masters, PGA Championship and U.S Open are determined using world ranking points.
Norman wrote that These moves (along with others that would have happened) are significant not just because they affect players personal endorsements, playing opportunities (i.e. Major exemptions), but also because of the accuracy and credibility the OWGR itself.
Without including player performance against these industry-leading [LIV]The OWGR for all fields is now incorrect. If this continues, the rankings will become more inaccurate and marginalized. LIV Golf players will have lower rankings than they should, while non-LIV Golfers will enjoy falsely elevated rankings. It will be impossible for OWGR to rate the OWGR ratings accurately or even relevant if OWGR continues to omit 48 top golfers around the world.
Johnson, a former world number one golfer, has fallen from 13th to 21st. Johnson, a former world No.1 golfer, has fallen from 13th place to 21st. This is his worst ranking since 2015, when he joined LIV Golf. Koepka dropped from 19th place to 25th and Reed from 38th to 49th. Mickelson, a six time major winner, began the year ranked 34th worldwide, but is now 104th.
Norman noted that LIV GREEN Golf did not meet all the criteria for OWGR recognition. One of the criteria is that you dont have a cut within 36 holes. LIV golf tournaments are 54 holes long with no cuts.
However, other tournaments such as the BMW Championship or Tour Championship, Hero World Challenge or World Golf Championships dont have cuts but still earn OWGR Points.
Norman wrote that it was wrong to deny points LIV players due to the OWGR granting points to other tour players in similar, if less competitive, circumstances.
LIV Golf did not meet other criteria. LIV Golf had tournaments with at least 75 players (LIV has 12 four-man teams), a tour that holds an annual open qualifying school prior to each season, and a structured opportunity for five players to advance to the full member tour proposing their application (in LIVs instance, the Asian Tour). A tour that has complied for a minimum of one year with OWGR guidelines.
Norman noted that LIV events will average 88 players between the LIV Invitational Series (which will be co-sanctioned with the Asian Tour in 2023). LIV Golf plans hosting a LIV promotion event, where players will have a chance at earning their playing place, and its top five players at seasons end will be awarded a full Asian Tour Card.
Norman wrote, LIV Golf has been operating for more than one year, but the LIV Golf Invitational Series remains in its initial year. Aware of the potential implications for OWGR and its credibility in not giving LIV Golf players the appropriate points, and considering LIV Golf’s unprecedented strength in field for a tour still in its infancy. We have urged OWGR to gain comfort with LIV Golf’s status because it is clearly in the best interest of the OWGR, the players, and the game.