Fifty members of LIV Golf, the Saudi-backed tour which launched in June, have collectively issued a signed assertion requesting that LIV Golf tournaments earn gamers factors in direction of the Official World Golf Rating.
As issues at present stand, LIV Golf tournaments don’t qualify for rating factors, which means that gamers who’ve solely taken half in LIV Golf occasions since its launch are slipping down the world rankings, leaving some in peril of lacking out on qualifying for the Majors and the Olympics.
The OWGR, which was first established in 1986, ranks gamers primarily based on their place in particular person tournaments over a rolling two-year interval, taking into consideration the energy of the sphere. New rankings are calculated every week. In 2022, the outcomes from 23 world excursions factored into the world rankings, however haven’t included these from the LIV Golf Invitational Collection, which has thus far held 5 occasions – one within the UK and 4 within the USA – with three extra resulting from happen this 12 months, and 14 tournaments deliberate for subsequent season.
The governing board of the OWGR is headed by chairman Peter Dawson, the previous chief govt of the R&A, and has its headquarters on the European Tour Group’s places of work at Wentworth Membership in Surrey. There are seven different administrators, together with representatives from the PGA of America, the Worldwide Federation of PGA Excursions, the USGA, the PGA Tour, Augusta Nationwide, the R&A and the DP World Tour.
In a letter addressed to Mr Dawson, the 50 signatories, together with world no.2 Cameron Smith and two-time Main winner Dustin Johnson, who has slipped down from thirteenth to twenty second on the earth rating since shifting to LIV Golf, have demanded that the outcomes of LIV Golf occasions be included in OWGR’s rating calculations on a retrospective foundation.
The letter insists that to depart LIV Golf outcomes out of the OWGR can be the equal to ‘leaving Belgium, Argentina and England out of the FIFA rankings’.
“Each week that passes with out the inclusion of LIV athletes undermines the historic worth of OWGR,” the assertion continues. “The case for LIV’s inclusion is powerful, however we’ve got considerations that members of your governing board are conflicted and are protecting the OWGR from performing because it ought to. 4 of the eight members have connections to the PGA Tour, which sadly views LIV Golf as an antagonist. Different members of the board have made unfairly harsh remarks about LIV, with certainly one of them calling the organisation ‘not credible’.”
The letter calls on Mr Dawson to abide by the OWGR’s mission to “administer and publish, on a weekly foundation, a clear, credible, and correct rating primarily based on the relative performances of gamers”.
“How can such a system presumably exclude gamers competing at such excessive ranges towards a few of the strongest fields of the 12 months for giant purses, at such high-profile occasions?”, the assertion went on.
LIV Golf formally utilized to hitch the OWGR in mid-July, however thus far no determination has been made, main LIV Golf officers to counsel that the OWGR’s board is intentionally dragging out the scenario with a purpose to hurt LIV golfers’ standing within the rating.
The assertion ended: “We hope the story we learn at present in regards to the determination being gradual walked so LIV golfers will slide down and to hurt LIV is just not correct. We name on you to render a constructive determination shortly – for the advantage of the integrity of the rankings, the sport and all of us who love the game. In spite of everything, the followers deserve rankings which can be inclusive and correct. Failure to incorporate 48 of the world’s finest golfers would imply the followers are being denied what they deserve.”
Talking earlier this month, LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman stated: “In the event that they [the OWGR] get up on the finish of the 12 months and Dustin Johnson is 102 on the earth, will that not make the OWGR a laughing inventory? There’s two methods they will go: they will both fold or they embody LIV into OWGR.”
No official remark has thus far been forthcoming from both Mr Dawson or some other representatives of the OWGR.