LIV players: The Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) Chairman Peter Dawson received a letter from all 48 players who participated in the LIV Golf tournament outside of Chicago over the weekend pleading with him to grant ranking points to participants in the Saudi Arabia-backed series.
The letter, dated September 16, was made public by LIV Golf on Tuesday and contained electronic signatures from each participant in the field at Rich Harvest Farms, where Cameron Smith, the winner of the British Open, triumphed in his second appearance on the lucrative tour.
LIV Golf, which debuted in June and has hosted five events to date, asked for recognition in the golf world rankings in July. Their application is still being reviewed. The rankings are a vital factor in determining admittance into the four major tournaments.
Every week that goes by without LIV Golf competitors being counted “undermines the historical worth” of the world rankings, according to the players’ letter.
“To maintain trust, we urge you as one of the true statesmen of sports – to act appropriately to include, on a retroactive basis, the results of LIV Golf events in OWGR’s ranking calculations,” the players wrote. “An OWGR without LIV would be incomplete and inaccurate.”
Four days after a report that said officials from the fledgling circuit believe they are “being slow played” by the OWGR, LIV Golf released the letter.
The OWGR website states that the ranking points breakdown is based on each tournament’s total field rating, and points are given to competitors who make the cut and finish an event, subject to how they place in the competition.
The 54-hole competitions at LIV Golf don’t have a cut.
The four major golf tournaments’ organisers have not altered their qualification requirements, although players who previously had exemptions based on past performance may someday no longer be eligible because they are now not receiving world ranking points.
“We call on you to render a positive decision quickly for the benefit of the integrity of the rankings, the game and all of us who love the sport,” the players said.
“After all, 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.”
Some of the biggest names in the game have been tempted away from the PGA Tour by LIV Golf, which last weekend had 12 major champions in the field, with the promise of guaranteed, large payouts and a light schedule.
Critics claim that LIV Golf, which is funded by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, represents blatant “sportswashing” by a country attempting to repair its image in light of its history of human rights violations.