Jon Rahm Criticizes World Rankings After LIV Golf Abandons Bid For Points

After LIV Golf abandoned its bid for world ranking points, Rahm has reiterated his opinion that the current system doesn’t reflect reality

Jon Rahm takes a shot at LIV Golf Jeddah
Jon Rahm has questioned the world ranking points system
(Image credit: Getty Images)

After a battle of almost two years, LIV Golf has finally abandoned its attempts to secure world ranking points.

That has long-term implications for many of its players because, without regular opportunities to accumulate them, they will continue falling down the rankings, which will ultimately affect their ability to qualify for the Majors.

Thanks to his Masters win in 2023, one player who doesn’t have any such concerns for the next five years is Jon Rahm. However, speaking to the media before the inaugural LIV Golf Hong Kong event, the Spaniard expressed his doubts over whether the existing ranking system is doing the job it was designed to do.

The OWGR formally rejected LIV Golf’s bid for world ranking points last October, and the Legion XIII captain began by claiming that he wasn’t even aware the circuit was still pursuing them. He said: “I haven’t talked to anybody about this or seen any responses, but I’m going to be honest, I didn’t know they were still trying to get world ranking points."

Regardless, Rahm, who was speaking alongside Crushers GC captain Bryson DeChambeau, has been consistent on his opinions of the current system, and, long before he signed for LIV Golf, described the changes to its strength of field calculations, introduced in 2022, as “laughable.”

Rahm recalled those comments, saying: “The one thing I can say is I’m going to back to what I said two years ago in the DP World Tour Championship. I didn’t think it was a good system back then, and if anything, the more time that goes on, the more it proves to be wrong.”

Jon Rahm and Bryson DeChambeau talk to the media before LIV Golf Hing Kong

Rahm and DeChambeau spoke to the media before LIV Golf Hong Kong

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The situation has been further highlighted over the first three LIV Golf tournaments of the season, which have seen Joaquin Niemann claim two of the titles.

Those victories, which came after he won the DP World Tour’s Australian Open in December, mean he is undoubtedly one of the most in-form players in the game at present, but that’s not reflected in the rankings, where he sits 76th having been 18th when he joined LIV Golf in 2022.

Rahm used the example of Niemann to highlight why he thinks the world rankings has a problem: “If anybody in this world, for example, doesn’t think Joaco deserves to be in the top 10 or doesn’t know that he’s a top player in the world, I don’t know what game you’re watching,” he said.

“We can tell. I think anybody who watches golf can tell who the best players in the world are, and obviously I don’t think the ranking is reflective of that right now to its entirety.”

'It Should Have Been Done A Year And A Half Ago'

Bryson DeChambeau takes a shot at LIV Golf Las Vegas

Bryson DeChambeau thinks it's time for the governing bodies to find a way to make the world rankings work

(Image credit: Getty Images)

DeChambeau had his say on the matter too, revealing he thinks it’s time the governing bodies got round the table to address the issue. He said: “What I think about it is we need to find a collective way, all the governing bodies, everybody, come together, sit down and figure this out, because we need to do this for the fans.”

The American was also unsure as to why the bid for the points had been rejected in the first place, particularly as LIV Golf, with CEO Greg Norman at the helm, had formed a strategic alliance with the developmental MENA Tour in an effort to fulfill the OWGR’s demands.

Greg Norman at LIV Golf Jeddah

Greg Norman had been battling to secure world ranking points for LIV Golf for two years

(Image credit: Getty Images)

He added: “If they wanted to make the system right, it should have been done a year and a half ago when we acquired the MENA Tour and we had that exemption category - not exemption, but we had that category for them to get world ranking points and we became part of that tour, and pretty much came into alignment there with being able to acquire OWGR points, and they didn't allow us to have that.”

“We've tried to fulfill every category, even going to 72 holes, too. The MENA Tour is already getting points, OWGR points for the MENA Tour, and they're 54 holes, so everybody's conversation on that can go right out the window.

“The cut thing - there's numerous things they brought up, and it's like, we can solve for all that, just tell us what to do, and nothing has gone."

Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.