Each of 48 players who participated in last weeks LIV Golf tournament outside Chicago signed a letter asking for the Official World Golf Ranking chairperson to retroactively include LIV Golf results within its rankings.
Peter Dawson, OWGR chairperson was sent the letter. The letter was also signed non-playing captains Bubba WatsonAnd reserves.
To maintain trust, I urge you — as one the true statesmen in sports — to act appropriately and include, on a retrospective basis, the results from LIV Golf events into OWGR’s ranking calculations, the players wrote. An OWGR without LIV is incomplete and inaccurate. It would be like leaving the Big 10 and the SEC out the U.S. college football rankings or leaving England, Argentina and Belgium out of FIFAs rankings.
LIV players did not receive points for their finishes at the five first tournaments of the new circuit. This is being led by two-time Open winner. Greg NormanSaudi Arabias Public Investment Fund financed the project.
Some 23 tours are incorporated into the OWGR Universe, and LIV is among them, the letter stated. Four LIV golfers held the number-one spot on the OWGR, while one is currently at number-two. [Cameron Smith is now third, actually].
LIVs roster contains 21 of the 51 previous winners of the four Majors. The average LIV event has a level of competition that is less than the average PGA Tour event. We know this because both of us have participated in them. Every week that passes without LIV athletes diminishes the historical value and historical significance of OWGR.
The letter mentioned that the two-time major champion had been noted in the letter. Dustin JohnsonSince joining LIV Golf, he has fallen from 13th through 22nd (hes now 23rd). He was eighth, third, and second in his first four events.
The OWGR standings determine exemptions at the four major championships. LIV Golf was first submitted to the OWGR board during a meeting held at the 150th Open in St. Andrews in July. LIV Golf applied for inclusion in the OWGR board on July 6.
OWGR board members include PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, 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.
LIV Golf players wrote a letter saying that although the case for LIVs inclusion has been strong, they are concerned that members of the Governing Board are conflicted. This is keeping the OWGR from acting as it should. Four of the eight board members have connections to PGA Tour, which unfortunately views LIV Golf in a negative light. LIV has been the subject of unfairly harsh criticisms from other members of the Board, including one calling it not credible.
The current chaotic environment makes it crucial to use your own judgment. You have a stellar reputation for integrity and impartiality in your business, golf and athletic management careers. Your work at the R&A and the OWGR shows you know how to combine tradition and innovation.
Norman wrote an earlier letter to LIV golf players and noted that there were 14 criteria to be eligible for OWGR Recognition. LIV was not able to meet all of these criteria. One of the criteria is having a cut at 36 holes. LIV golf tournaments are 54 holes without cuts.
Other tournaments, such as the BMW Championship, Tour Championship and Hero World Challenge, 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 didnt meet other criteria. LIV Golf was not able to satisfy the following: tournaments that had at least 75 players (LIV currently has 48 players on 12 four man teams), a tour with an annual open qualifying school prior to each season, a structured chance for at least five people to progress to full member tours that are proposing their applications (in LIVs example, the Asian Tour), and a show that it has complied within OWGR guidelines for a year.