Report: LIV Golf League Abandons Attempts To Secure World Ranking Points

A letter sent to LIV players by Greg Norman allegedly said “a resolution which protects the accuracy, credibility and integrity of the OWGR rankings no longer exists"

LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman stands with his finger on his mouth and a black LIV Cap on at LIV Golf Jeddah
LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The LIV Golf League has abandoned its attempts to secure official accreditation as an eligible tour from the Official World Golf Ranking board, per Sports Illustrated’s Bob Harig.

Harig first reported on Tuesday that the PIF-backed circuit had “formerly withdrawn its application” after becoming frustrated at the OWGR’s lack of recognition towards its players since forming in 2022.

LIV first applied to become a recognized tour weeks after its first event in London two years ago, but the OWGR formally denied the request in October 2023 due to the league's format and - at the time - lack of promotion and relegation, coupled with a limited pathway for external players to qualify.

OWGR chairman Peter Dawson said at the time: “This is about, should a tour whose formats are so different and whose qualification criteria are so different, can they be ranked equitably with other tours who conform to the OWGR norm and have more competition to them than perhaps the closed shop that is LIV?”

Since then, LIV has introduced a Promotions Event as well as relegation, all while having formed a strategic partnership with the Asian Tour to allow players from that circuit to qualify and giving the opportunity for LIV players to peg it up outside of their league.

However, after seemingly failing to make inroads with the OWGR board, LIV CEO Greg Norman reportedly sent a letter to all of his players featuring in LIV Golf Hong Kong this week, hitting out at the ranking body.

Greg Norman at the LIV Golf Team Championship at Trump National Doral

Greg Norman

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Per Sports Illustrated, the letter read: “a resolution which protects the accuracy, credibility and integrity of the OWGR rankings no longer exists.

“We have made significant efforts to fight for you and ensure your accomplishments are recognized within the existing ranking system. Unfortunately, OWGR has shown little willingness to productively work with us."

The OWGR board is made up of representatives from each of the four men's Major championships along with PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, DP World Tour CEO Keith Pelley, and Keith Waters - a DP World Tour executive who oversees the Federation of PGA Tours. However, the latter trio allegedly opted not to vote on LIV Golf's applications.

Jay Monahan and Keith Pelley at the 2023 DP World Tour Championship

PGA Tour commissioner, Jay Monahan (left) and DP World Tour CEO, Keith Pelley

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Norman continued: “The rankings are structured to penalize anyone who has not played regularly on an “Eligible Tour” with the field ratings disproportionately rewarding play on the PGA Tour.

“This is illustrated by the fact only four players inside the top 50 are not PGA Tour players (Jon Rahm (3), Tyrrell Hatton (17), Brooks Koepka (30) and Cam Smith (45)) and by the precipitous decline of LIV players generally, notwithstanding extraordinary performances on the LIV Tour.

“Even if LIV Golf events were immediately awarded points, the OWGR system is designed such that it would be functionally impossible for you to regain positions close to the summit of the ranking, where so many of you were prior to joining LIV, and deserve to remain based on your performance.”

PIF chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan (left) and OWGR chairman Peter Dawson

PIF chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan (left) and OWGR chairman Peter Dawson

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Speaking to the Associated Press after the decision to deny LIV in October was reached, chairman Dawson insisted “we are not at war with [LIV]” and "this decision not to make them eligible is not political. It is entirely technical.

"LIV players are self-evidently good enough to be ranked. They’re just not playing in a format where they can be ranked equitably with the other 24 tours and thousands of players to compete on them.”

Throughout the process, LIV players such as Bryson DeChambeau, Joaquin Niemann, and Talor Gooch have regularly complained that they are being unfairly excluded from some of the Major championships if they are not already exempt due to languishing well outside of the top-100 OWGR-recognized golfers.

Joaquin Niemann takes a shot at LIV Golf Las Vegas

Joaquin Niemann at LIV Golf Las Vegas

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Niemann - who has won two of the first three LIV events in 2024 as well as the Australian Open on the DP World Tour late last year - has bemoaned his absence from the four biggest events after both of his recent victories.

However, the Chilean is now into the Open (due to his Australian Open win), The Masters, and the PGA Championship - receiving special invites for the latter pair. He also revealed he plans to qualify for the US Open should he not produce a strong finish at Augusta next month.

Meanwhile, Gooch recently claimed that the most prestigious competitions would become "asterisk Majors" without all of the world's best players in attendance - with a very similar view previously expressed by LIV Golf analyst, Jerry Foltz.

In the recent letter sent out to current LIV players, Norman said his league is "continuing to seek meaningful communication and relationships with each of the Majors to ensure that LIV Golfers are fairly represented and golf fans around the world have opportunities to see the best competition possible.”

Jonny Leighfield
Staff Writer

Jonny Leighfield is our Staff News Writer who joined Golf Monthly just in time for the 2023 Solheim Cup and Ryder Cup. He graduated from the University of Brighton with a degree in Sport Journalism in 2017 and spent almost five years as the sole sports reporter at his local newspaper. An improving golfer who still classes himself as ‘one of the worst players on the Golf Monthly team’, Jonny enjoys playing as much as he can and is hoping to reach his Handicap goal of 18 at some stage. He attended both the 150th and 151st Opens and is keen to make it an annual pilgrimage.