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‘Best Player Performance’: Distraught LIV Golf’s Future Pushed Down the Rabbit Hole, Courtesy of OWGR’s Nasty Blow

Published 10/10/2023, 8:09 PM EDT

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via Reuters

From sowing its seeds in 2021 to the dramatic news of the merger almost 16 months later, the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series has faced its fair share of controversies and hurdles. And ahead of the regular season-ending tournament taking place in Jeddah, one can’t help but imagine what else the league has in store for us as they fight for a proper representation in the golf world.

Yes, we are talking about the Official World Golf Ranking System and long-standing discussions with the PIF-funded league. However, in an unfortunate turn of events, the OWGR has finally managed to drive a nail into the league’s coffin as they receive what can be called nothing short of the biggest smack to the back of their heads.

OWGR ends discussions with LIV Golf

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It has become common knowledge that the OWGR does not award points to the players from LIV Golf. Nevertheless, it has not stopped the latter from fighting for a chance for the same by partnering with the MENA Tour in 2022. However, what transpired in the end was an unfavorable situation for the golfers as they were denied points from the system.

The OWGR, on Tuesday, issued a letter to Greg Norman and Gary Davidson, the de facto directors of the circuit, in which they conveyed the unanimous decision to not award points to the golfers in the Middle Eastern-based League. Moreover, Peter Dawson, chairman of the board, also alluded to how the decision was made because LIV Golf boasts a different format as opposed to the 72-hole employed by the top tournaments in the game.

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However, the chairman was quick to express their stance as he conveyed how the OWGR is “not at war” with LIV Golf. “It is entirely technical,” mentioned Dawson as he pointed out how the players are not participating in a place “where they can be ranked equitably with the other 24 tours and thousands of players trying to compete on them.”

Moreover, according to OWGR, the Saudi-backed league does not provide enough promotion and relegation of golfers. The other tours provide chances to more than 40 players through the Korn Ferry Tour, the PGA Tour University program, and the DP World Tour’s grassroots events. However, in LIV, only three golfers are able to find their way into the series of tournaments via an end-of-year promotion event, while the final spot is issued through the Asian Tour.

However, the decision was met with a response from the Middle Eastern League as they issued a reply to the unfavorable ruling.

LIV Golf responds to the OWGR rulings

The Saudi-backed League was quick to express their stance on the matter as they took a jab at the world rankings by mentioning how they have failed to uphold their purpose of “fairly representing all participants.” Moreover, LIV also pointed out how the failure to do so also robs some traditional tournaments including the majors of some “best fields possible.”

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Adding to their response, the PIF-funded league expressed their dissatisfaction with the ranking system as they indicated how there are no benefits for the community as long as “best player performances are not recognized.” Nevertheless, the Saudi-backed circuit announced their intention to continue forward to “strive to level set the market” while assuring their stakeholders an independent system of ranking in a bid to watch the best of the game.

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Do you think the stakeholders at LIV Golf will continue to push for ranking points under the OWGR banner? Let us know in the comments below.

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Written by:

Allan Abe

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Allan Abe is a fresh golf writer at EssentiallySports. Tiger Woods was the golfer who inspired him into the sport, and he lives by what the legend once said, "No matter how good your get, you can always get better." Allan extends his love for golf by indulging in a little gaming in his free time, with PGA Tour 2K21 being his go to.
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Edited by:

Sharan Nair

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