'Integrity Of OWGR Severely Compromised Without LIV' - Norman

The Australian says accepting LIV Golf's application is the only way the world rankings will remain credible

Greg Norman throwing beer at the LIV Golf Invitational Portland
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Greg Norman has sent a letter to his roster of LIV stars insisting it would be "wrong" for the Saudi-backed breakaway circuit not to gain recognition from the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR).

It appears to be the final piece of the puzzle for the up-start league to establish itself as a legitimate long-term rival to the status quo, with a number of players said to have concerns about their ability to qualify for future Majors.

Those who have defected to the Norman-fronted tour have been sliding down the rankings since the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational in June. Dustin Johnson, a former World No. 1, is now outside the top 20, while Phil Mickelson has fallen to 104th having started the year 34th.

Video: What is LIV Golf?

An examination of LIV Golf's application for ranking points began in the week of The 150th Open, 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.

However, the letter, which was obtained by ESPN, questioned the future integrity of the OWGR should LIV's application be denied, citing the increasing strength of fields as more and more big names jump ship from the established tours.

"Without LIV's inclusion, the integrity and accuracy of the rankings themselves are severely compromised," the Australian wrote. "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."

Andrew Wright
Staff Writer

A lifelong golf fan, Andy graduated in 2019 with a degree in Sports Journalism and got his first role in the industry as the Instruction Editor for National Club Golfer. From there, he went on to enjoy a spell freelancing for Stats Perform producing football reports, and then for RacingNews365 covering Formula 1. However, he couldn't turn down the opportunity to get back into the sport he grew up watching and playing and now covers a mixture of equipment, instruction and news for Golf Monthly's website and print title.

Andy took up the game at the age of seven and even harboured ambitions of a career in the professional ranks for a spell. That didn’t pan out, but he still enjoys his weekend golf at Royal Troon and holds a scratch handicap. As a side note, he's made five holes-in-one and could quite possibly be Retief Goosen’s biggest fan.

As well as the above, some of Andy's work has featured on websites such as goal.com, dailyrecord.co.uk, and theopen.com.

What's in Andy's bag?

Driver: Callaway Mavrik Sub-Zero (9°)

3-wood: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus (15°)

Driving iron: Titleist U500 (17°)

Irons: Callaway Apex Pro '19 (4-PW)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM9 (50°, 54° and 58°)

Putter: TaylorMade Spider X

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x