LIV Golf Players Petition for Official World Golf Ranking Status

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LIV Golf continues to challenge the system.

Last week, 50 golfers signed a letter to the president of the Official World Golf Rankings, requesting that their results be included in the rankings, retroactively, from the time the rival circuit backed by Saudi Arabia first applied for this status on July 6.

Team captain Dustin Johnson of 4 Aces GC celebrates after winning the LIV Golf Invitational – Boston on the first playoff hole at The Oaks Golf Course at The International on September 4, 2022 in Bolton, Mass.
(Joe Scarnici/LIV Golf via Getty Images)

“An OWGR without LIV would be incomplete and inaccurate, the equivalent of leaving the Big 10 or the SEC out of the United States college football standingsor leaving Belgium, Argentina and England out of the FIFA rankings,” the letter read.

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Those who petitioned the organization included Bubba Watson, two-time Masters winner and 48 other golfers who played in LIV Golf’s fifth tournament last weekend in Chicago.

According to Golf Channel, players have claimed that “the level of competition at an average LIV event is at least equal to that of an average PGA Tour event.”

LIV CEO and Commissioner Greg Norman high-fives as he heads for the first tee during the final round of the LIV Golf Invitational Series Chicago at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Illinois.

LIV CEO and Commissioner Greg Norman high-fives as he heads for the first tee during the final round of the LIV Golf Invitational Series Chicago at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Illinois.
(Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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LIV Golf has 13 of the top 50 players on its tour, but the addition of Cameron Smith, who was ranked No. 2 at the time, sent shockwaves through the golfing community.

“LIV Golf is showing the world that our truly global league attracts the best players in the world and will move the game into the future for the next generation,” LIV Golf CEO and Commissioner Greg Norman said in a statement to the ‘era. “The best and the brightest continue to embrace the excitement and energy of LIV Golf and what we are building – a tangible league for team golf that will connect with new audiences all over the world.”

Greg Norman, CEO and Commissioner of LIV Golf, presents the trophy to Team Captain Cameron Smith of Punch GC after winning the individual title of the LIV Golf Invitational - Chicago at Rich Harvest Farms on September 18, 2022 in Sugar Grove, Illinois .

Greg Norman, CEO and Commissioner of LIV Golf, presents the trophy to Team Captain Cameron Smith of Punch GC after winning the individual title of the LIV Golf Invitational – Chicago at Rich Harvest Farms on September 18, 2022 in Sugar Grove, Illinois .
(Chris Trotman/LIV Golf via Getty Images)

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The Masters since 1999 invites the top 50 at the end of the year, while the US Open and British Open also use world ranking as a key qualifying criterion. The PGA Championship has a tradition of inviting the top 100, although it falls under “special invitations”.

“How can such a system exclude players who compete at such high levels against some of the strongest squads of the year for big prize money at such prestigious events?” said the letter.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Michael C. Ford