LIV Golf has formed a strategic alliance to the lesser-known MENA Tour in an effort to secure Official World Golf Ranking points.
The MENA Tour, a feeder circuit which has hosted tournaments throughout the Middle East and North Africa, was closed for more than 2 years during the COVID-19 epidemic. However, it was reopened in May 2016. The OWGR governing body recognized the MENA Tour in May 2016 after it was founded by Shaikh Maktoum Golf Foundation, Dubai.
The MENA Tour announced Wednesday that the alliance would boost the MENA Tour’s developmental programs and immediately qualify LIV Golf to receive OWGR points. This will be the LIV Golf Thailand event at Stonehill next week.
This is a very exciting moment for the MENA Tour, and our players, David Spencer, MENA Tour commissioner, stated in a statement. Our players will now have greater playing opportunities and stronger pathways through this alliance, he said. This is great news for many young players on the Tour.
Spencer said that all LIV golfers become members of MENA Tour through the partnership. The purses at MENA events average $75,000.
We are taking this mutually-beneficial action to support and the game at its developmental level and because it is important and fair for LIV golfers qualifying OWGR point points, Atul Khosla (LIV Golf president and COO) stated in a release. We are pleased to provide pathways that offer more opportunities for young golfers, as well as giving fans rankings that include all of the top golfers in the world.
LIV Golf CEO & Commissioner Greg NormanHe is becoming increasingly frustrated at the OWGR boards inability to recognize his startup circuit, which is being financed through Saudi Arabias Public Investment Fund.
LIV Golf currently boasts 12 of the 50 top players in its fields, including the reigning Open Championship winner Cameron SmithThe No. The No. 3 player in the world. LIV Golf competitors didn’t receive OWGR in the first five events. This hampered their chances of qualifying for major championships.
Norman wrote in a letter to LIV golfers, Aug. 17, that the new circuit should receive world ranking points in the near future.
ESPN obtained a copy from Normans letter. Norman stated in the letter that LIV golfs inclusion on the world ranking points system is necessary for the integrity of the rankings. Norman said that LIV Golf officials submitted their application at the OWGR in middle-July. It was discussed by the OWGR Technical Committee at the 150th Open Championship held at St. Andrews.
Norman wrote, Without LIV’s inclusion in the rankings, the integrity accuracy and accuracy of those rankings are severely compromised. We have faith that the members of OWGRs Governing Board will be able to understand and appreciate this important consideration. They will treat this development with respect and in accordance with their responsibilities as Official World Golf Rankings directors and the duties that come with them.
Jay Monahan (PGA Tour commissioner) is one of the eight members on the OWGR board. He has suspended players from LIV Golf tournaments where there was no conflicting-event release. 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.