Frustrated LIV explore alternative rankings
THE LIV breakaway circuit are considering turning their back on golf’s traditional rankings system amid growing exasperation at how their request for recognition in the official standings has been overlooked.
Although the Saudi-backed league have no plans to withdraw their long-standing application to the Official World Golf Ranking body (OWGR), which if successful would open a route into the majors for many of their players, they are exploring using an alternative ranking system to determine eligibility to a new qualifying school they are launching in November ahead of their 2024 season. Sportsmail understands LIV are monitoring the newly-launched Sports Illustrated World Golf Rankings as well as the Universal Golf Rankings, both of whom allocate points for performances on Greg Norman’s controversial tour, unlike the OWGR.
Having launched their second season last week without OWGR recognition, a LIV source said they might make a switch to one of those lesser established systems if they continue to be snubbed across their next two events, in Tucson later this month and Orlando at the start of April.
The situation with the OWGR has led to LIV’s star names plummeting down the standings, with Dustin Johnson’s latest ranking of 54th held up as evidence the existing system is now far too inaccurate. While Johnson
(right) remains eligible for majors, the problem is more acute for players further down the LIV order who are close to falling outside the cut-offs for the big four tournaments, or already have done.
LIV’s latest application to the OWGR was filed in October and a return letter is believed to have outlined they still do not meet the criteria. The specific details have been unclear, with the OWGR not commenting on ongoing applications, but sources told Sportsmail one obstacle is the predominant absence of ‘relegation’ from their circuit. LIV have attempted to resolve that issue by introducing the relegation of four golfers from their 48-man roster — three of the four promoted players would come from the qualifying school — but there is confusion at how that sits with the guaranteed participation of certain players. A source pointed to Talor Gooch’s contract, which was made public last year during court wranglings and revealed a non-relegation clause until the end of the 2025 season.