Despite an understanding that they’d likely be omitted from the current Official World Golf Ranking if they left for the startup LIV Golf circuit, players for the Saudi-backed league sent a letter to OWGR Chairman Peter Dawson asking for inclusion in the current system.
The letter, which was sent to the media on Tuesday morning, opened by noting that players depend on the OWGR “not just to qualify for the most important events, including the Majors and Olympics, but to tell us where we stand among our peers,” adding that “trust in the OWGR has been widespread and well-deserved.”
The note was signed by the 48 players who competed in the LIV Golf Invitational Chicago (which was won by Cam Smith), as well as Bubba Watson.
Also, the note likened the omission to erasing the top two college football conferences from the college football rankings.
LIV golfers send letter to OWGR chairman which says leaving them out of rankings is like "leaving the Big 10 or the SEC out of the U.S. college football rankings." Signed by 48 players. pic.twitter.com/uqo60fNtDF
— Golfweek (@golfweek) September 20, 2022
Inclusion in the OWGR is a significant talking point for LIV as CEO Greg Norman — who is meeting with members of Congress this week on Capitol Hill to discuss the upstart circuit that features 54-hole tournaments, no cuts, shotgun starts and massive paydays — has touted it as the last major hurdle for the circuit to climb.
“If we get the OWGR points, then everything else takes care of itself,” Norman said in August.
Without the points, however, players continue to slide out of the picture for major tournaments, For example, as the note pointed out, Dustin Johnson was ranked 13th on OWGR shortly before he announced he would play in LIV tournaments. He is now 22nd, despite finishing eighth, third, second, and first in the first four LIV events. Johnson won the event in Boston, defeating 15 players who had finished either first or second in the four majors, yet continued his slide.
“The fans deserve rankings that are inclusive and accurate. Failure to include 48 of the world’s best golfers would mean the fans are being denied what they deserve,” the letter said.
The series is on a two-week break before hosting consecutive events in Bangkok, Thailand, and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
LIV announcer said “Off with his head” after Bryson DeChambeau tangled with a rope.
Cameron Smith earned $4 million for his win.
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