LIV Golf players urge OWGR President to award ranking points

Golf – The inaugural LIV Golf Invitational – Centurion Club, Hemel Hempstead, St Albans, Britain – June 9, 2022 General view during the first round Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

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Sep 20 (Reuters) – The 48 players who took part in LIV Golf’s event outside of Chicago this weekend have sent a joint letter to Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) Chairman Peter Dawson, l urging to award ranking points to competitors in the Saudi-backed series. .

The letter, dated September 16 and shared by LIV Golf on Tuesday, included the electronic signatures of every player on the course at Rich Harvest Farms where British Open champion Cameron Smith earned his second start on the lucrative tour. Read more

LIV Golf, which launched in June and has so far staged five events, applied for recognition in the World Golf Rankings – which plays a key role in deciding entry into golf’s four major tournaments – in July and his case is still under review.

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According to the letter sent by the players, each passing week without the inclusion of LIV Golf athletes “undermines the historic value” of the world rankings.

“To maintain confidence, we urge you – as true statesmen of the sport – to act appropriately to retroactively include LIV Golf event results in OWGR ranking calculations,” wrote the players. “An OWGR without LIV would be incomplete and inaccurate.”

The letter was shared by LIV Golf four days after a Sports Illustrated report who quoted a source close to the situation as saying upstart circuit officials feel they are being “played slowly” by the OWGR.

According to the OWGR website, the ranking point distribution is derived from the total court rating of each tournament and points are awarded to players who make the cut and finish an event, subject to their finishing position in the tournament. tournament.

LIV Golf’s 54-hole events have no cut.

The organizers of golf’s four major tournaments have not changed their qualifying rules, but players who have been granted an exemption for blue ribbon events due to their past results may one day be excluded because, for now, they no longer earn world ranking points.

“We ask that you make a positive decision quickly – in the interest of the integrity of the rankings, the game and everyone who loves the sport,” the players said.

“After all, fans deserve inclusive and accurate rankings. Not including 48 of the best golfers in the world would mean fans are being denied what they deserve.”

LIV Golf, which had 12 major champions on the course last weekend, has lured some of the game’s biggest names away from the PGA Tour with the promise of guaranteed big payouts and a reduced schedule.

Critics say LIV Golf, which is funded by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, amounts to blatant ‘sportswashing’ by a nation trying to improve its reputation in light of its history of human rights abuses. the man.

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Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Ken Ferris

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Michael C. Ford