LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman has battled to get the league recognised by the OWGR

LIV Golf withdraws application to receive world ranking points

LIV Golf has withdrawn its bid to have its 54-hole, no-cut events recognised by the Official World Golf Ranking.

The Saudi-backed tour originally applied to the OWGR board to obtain ranking points for its players back in July 2022, but after more than a year of deliberation that application was rejected last October.

With no further movement from either side, the LIV Golf League formally withdrew its on-going application today (March 5).

“We have made significant efforts to fight for you and ensure your accomplishments are recognised within the existing ranking system,” LIV Golf CEO and commissioner Greg Norman wrote in a letter to players ahead of this week’s event in Hong Kong. “Unfortunately, OWGR has shown little willingness to productively work with us.”

When it denied LIV points, the OWGR claimed the league – which features a closed field of 54 players playing 54-hole, shotgun start, no-cut events – wasn’t able to be compared to the other 24 tours under its world ranking wing. Also stated to be of concern were the qualifying and relegation methods employed by LIV Golf.

“We are not at war with them [LIV Golf],” Peter Dawson, chairman of the OWGR board, said at the time of the initial rejection. “This decision not to make them eligible is not political. It is entirely technical. LIV players are self-evidently good enough to be ranked. They’re just not playing in a format where they can be ranked equitably with the other 24 tours and thousands of players trying to compete on them.”

Sergio Garcia has seen his world ranking tumble from 46th to 645th to since joining LIV Golf in June 2022

Commissioner Greg Norman and LIV Golf players have questioned the world ranking system from the jump and have been critical of the board members who may have conflicting interests when it comes to the upstart circuit backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. However, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan and DP World Tour CEO Keith Pelley both recused themselves from the LIV decision to avoid any such conflict.

The committee that rejected LIV’s application comprised leaders from Augusta National, the PGA of America, the USGA and The R&A, which run the four majors. The majors use the OWGR as part of their qualifying criteria.

The pathways to LIV Golf are somewhat vague, with only last week seeing Antony Kim, who hadn’t played competitively for 12 years, been invited to join the league. He subsequently shot 16 over par for three rounds at LIV Golf Jeddah, and finished 33 shots behind the winner, Joaquin Neimann.

The league did implement a promotions event last year which saw three players gain LIV Golf status, while two players lost their place in the league. The leading player on the Asian Tour’s International Series Order of Merit also earns a LIV spot for the following season.