LIV Golfers 'Getting Hurt The Longer This Game Gets Played' - McDowell

The former US Open champion has hit out at OWGR chiefs and its handling of LIV Golf's application

Graeme McDowell poses on putting green
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Former US Open champion Graeme McDowell has hit out at the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) board, claiming that LIV members are "getting hurt" and the word "official" should be stripped from the entity's name if "they don't take care of the players out here." 

Speaking ahead of LIV Golf's seventh tournament in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia the Northern Irishman said: "We all agree and I think most people in the world of golf would agree that the field out here is to a certain strength now where it's impossible to ignore the talent that's out here.

"This guy standing in the middle of the three of us [Dustin Johnson], if his world ranking is inaccurate, then the whole system is inaccurate. Hopefully it's inevitable, but the longer it goes on, the games that are being played, all we want is to have a fair core, if you like, to recognise exactly what it is that we are doing out here."

The 43-year-old praised "transparent" LIV Golf in doing "everything they possibly can to be legitimate in the eyes of the OWGR" but in stark contrast, blasted the governing board's handling of the situation and insisted: "The word "official" has to go away from OWGR if they don't take care of the players out here."

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The Greg Norman-fronted venture has been embroiled in an ongoing battle with the OWGR Board, which consists of PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan and DP World Tour CEO Keith Pelley, and was said to be "growing impatient" at the "slow process" since it submitted its application in July. 

Their application was endorsed by the Asian Tour before it entered into a strategic alliance with the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Tour in the hope it would "immediately qualify" for ranking points for its Bangkok event last week. That however, was denied by OWGR chiefs on the grounds of "insufficient notice", saying that "only after the review is complete will a decision be made on awarding points to the MENA Tour's new "Limited Field Tournaments" [the LIV Golf Invitational Series]."

McDowell, who has been a part of the controversial breakaway circuit since its inception, said: "The longer this goes on, we have a huge amount of deterioration in the current world ranking points for the guys out here, and if that doesn't retrospectively kind of get taken care of, by the time that we do get ranking points, our strength of field is going to be relatively much less than it needs to be. So we just getting hurt the longer this game gets played, and it needs to be taken care of ASAP."

LIV Golf’s no-cut format has been a known sticking point in preventing it from gaining OWGR status however, recent reports have indicated it is prepared to introduce one for its final event of the regular season in Jeddah if it results in points being awarded. 

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.