Asian Tour CEO Nominates LIV Golf For World Ranking Points

The Asian Tour is formally backing LIV Golf's bid for Official World Ranking points

Cho and Norman shake hands
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Asian Tour CEO and Commissioner Cho Minn Thant has revealed that the established circuit has nominated the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series for Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points.

LIV Golf's proposal requires the support of at least one Tour and that was duly provided by Thant, who recently benefited from a $300m investment from the Greg Norman-fronted venture to aid the future expansion of the International Series. 

Speaking at the conclusion of the International Series event at Lotte Skyhill Jeju Country Club in South Korea, Thant said: "LIV Golf are applying for world ranking points independently, but the process requires a nomination by one of the full-member Tours. 

"As a good partner, it was our responsibility to help LIV Golf submit their bid for world ranking points and that is underway now - the Asian Tour has nominated them, and they are providing the technical information that will support their application with the intention of getting world ranking points next year.

"Our mandate is to provide a pathway for our members to further their careers. We now provide our members with the opportunity to play LIV Golf events but we also support members like Joohyung Kim who choose the PGA Tour path."

LIV Golf submitted an application for recognition that was subsequently examined by OWGR Chiefs at the 150th Open Championship at St Andrews. The backing from the Asian Tour is likely to add weight to the argument, although the format is at odds with certain qualifying criteria. Among others, there are no 36-hole cuts and the average field size is less than the 75 required.

With a decision pending, Greg Norman recently revealed that the OWGR would be compromised if they omitted 48 of the best players in the world. "Without LIV's inclusion, the integrity and accuracy of the rankings themselves are severely compromised," the Australian said. "The proportion of leading players in the world competing on the LIV Series means that, despite smaller fields than some existing tour events and those that took place opposite the LIV Invitational events, the [strength of field] remains highly competitive and among the top few in the industry."

He added: "These moves are significant not only because of their effect on players' personal endorsements and playing opportunities, but also for the accuracy and credibility of the OWGR itself.

"Without including player performances against these industry-leading [LIV] fields, the OWGR are now inaccurate. Should this continue much longer, the rankings will become even more inaccurate and marginalised, with many of the LIV Golf players having lower rankings than they are rightfully entitled to, as well as non-LIV Golf players enjoying falsely enhanced rankings. 

"Simply put, it will be impossible to consider the OWGR ratings accurate or even relevant if OWGR persists in omitting 48 of the best golfers in the world."

James Hibbitt

James joined Golf Monthly having previously written for other digital outlets. He is obsessed with all areas of the game – from tournament golf, to history, equipment, technique and travel. He is also an avid collector of memorabilia; with items from the likes of Bobby Jones, Tiger Woods, Francis Ouimet, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Adam Scott and Ernie Els. As well as writing for Golf Monthly, James’ golfing highlight is fist bumping Phil Mickelson on his way to winning the Open Championship at Muirfield in 2013. James grew up on the east coast of England and is the third generation of his golfing family. He now resides in Leeds and is a member of Cobble Hall Golf Club with a handicap index of 1.7. His favourite films are The Legend of Bagger Vance and Tin Cup.