In the wake of the Official World Golf Rankings’ decision not to make LIV Golf an eligible tour, many of its stars have been critical of the verdict
Cameron Smith claimed the Official World Golf Rankings were “almost obsolete” as LIV Golf’s stars hit out at the decision to reject the tour’s application for ranking points.
The former Open champion was among a host of players on the Saudi-backed breakaway tour to criticise the move, which was announced earlier this week.
Ahead of LIV’s event in Jeddah, Smith said: “I think it (OWGR) is almost obsolete now. We’ve got some guys out here who are playing some of the best golf in the world and they’re outside the top 100, 200 in the world. It’s pretty ridiculous.”
OWGR chairman Peter Dawson confirmed on Tuesday the tour would not be eligible – arguing it was not playing a format “that can be ranked equitably” with the other tours it represents.
A particular sticking point appears to be over the 48-player field, which is largely set with many LIV Golf players enjoying lucrative contracts to play in the 54-hole shotgun starts.
Bryson DeChambeau had already said the OWGR’s decision was “on par with how things have gone over the last few years”, but LIV Golf’s website also carried the views of other higher-profile competitors.
LIV Golf rankings decision: “You can’t really use the world ranking system anymore”
Dustin Johnson, who will still be able to play in major championships following his Masters win in 2020, said he felt “you can’t really use the world ranking system anymore.
“That’s my take on it. Hard to use the world ranking system if you’re excluding 48 guys that are good players. The rankings are skewed.”
“It doesn’t really affect me as it does some of the other guys. I want the points for the other guys.”
Another Masters champion Patrick Reed claimed OWGR was a “broken system”.
“Obviously it’s disappointing,” he said. “Until the actual world ranking reflects the actual top players in the world, then to me it’s just kind of a broken system. Just because we play on a different tour, it shouldn’t matter.”
Talor Gooch, who was won three times on LIV Golf this year, added: “It’s not surprising given everything that’s gone on the last 1-1/2 years. Nonetheless, it further confirms the irrelevancy of the OWGR.
“Their job is to rank players all around the world; it’s not players’ and tours’ jobs to conform to what they decide is worth getting ranked, or how you’re able to get ranked. It’s their job to figure out who the best players in the world are – which they aren’t able to do. I don’t think they should be the keyholders for that.”
And Richard Bland, part of the Majesticks team including Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, and Henrik Stenson, argued the OWGR’s decision was “just robbing the golf fan”.
“For DJ and Cam and Brooks, Bryson, and those guys, who I understand are exempt for majors probably for the foreseeable future, but that doesn’t last forever. And to not have those guys playing in majors is not right,” he said.
“I don’t care what people say about LIV and who’s playing on it and why they came to LIV, they’re still some of the best players in the world. In my opinion, Brooks has been one of the best players in the world this year, finishing second in the Masters and winning the PGA Championship. You can’t deny that.
“It doesn’t matter where you play your golf. The world rankings should show that – and it doesn’t. I don’t know how you get around that.
“It’s disappointing because you are just robbing the golf fan, maybe in a few years’ time, of the best players playing in the biggest tournaments. And that’s what it should be. It shouldn’t matter where you play your golf.
“The game has got to come together and go right. You know that LIV’s here to stay. So, instead of just trying to shut it out the whole time, and hurt the players, and hurt the golf industry, and hurt the golf fans. That’s just got to stop.”
Now have your say
What do you think of this LIV Golf rankings decision? Should it be part of the OWGR eco-system or did the players who joined the Saudi-backed tour know what they were getting into? Let us know by leaving a comment on X.
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