Report: LIV Golf To Gain World Ranking Points This Week
LIV Golf has reportedly brokered a deal with a little-known Tour for world ranking points
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Update: LIV Golf to "immediately qualify" for world ranking points
LIV Golf is expecting its players to earn world ranking points in its sixth event in Thailand this week according to the Telegraph, which reports that a "strategic alliance" was brokered between the Greg Norman-fronted venture and the MENA Tour.
The MENA Tour, based in Dubai, has been an established member of the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) since 2016 and, per its name, stages events in the Middle East and North Africa. The reported deal will see the Tour give access to its ranking points - something LIV Golf has yet to achieve since its inauguration. "The MENA Tour has submitted to the Official World Rankings Board the LIV Thailand field as entrants in one of its own events and is waiting as normal to lean how many points the winner will earn based on strength-of-field calculations," the Telegraph says.
The breakaway circuit has reportedly sought confirmation from OWGR chiefs that ranking points will be available for the Thailand event this week, with an official announcement expected imminently. Brooks Koepka's wife however, Jena Sims, seemingly broke the news on her Instagram story.
Did Jena Sims just break this news pic.twitter.com/0X2mTvKJaAOctober 5, 2022
The brokered deal is not expected to interfere with the planned expansion for 2023, according to the report, where the LIV Golf Series will rebrand to a fully-fledged League with 48 players and 12 established team franchises competing in an inflated 14-tournament schedule and an enormous $405m total prize purse - a huge increase on the $225m on offer for this year’s eight-tournament Series.
According to the Telegraph, the deal will result in LIV Golf members having access to compete on the MENA Tour, which will comprise of around 15 events each year. The purses however, are not expected to come close to the financial riches offered on the Saudi-backed circuit.
As the golfing world awaits an official announcement, LIV Golf could point to its arrangement with the MENA Tour and the Asian Tour's International Series as an expanded opportunity for players and another pathway to the LIV Golf League rather than a sole means to establish world ranking points.
The controversial breakaway circuit has been successful is luring some of the biggest names in golf away from the established eco-system, perhaps none more so than recently-crowned Open champion Cameron Smith, but it is yet to ascertain accreditation with the ranking body.
Whilst Smith has earned entry into forthcoming Majors through his success at the Home of Golf, many have slipped down the pecking order with their involvement in the 2023 Majors in serious doubt. Patrick Reed emphasises the battle having dropped out of the top-50 for the first time since 2014.
The American reached a career high of World No.6 in 2020 however, his defection to LIV Golf has seen his status become increasingly precarious and he finally dropped out of the world's top-50 following his disappointing missed cut in the DP World Tour’s Open de France at Le Golf National.
Last month, 50 LIV Golf players signed a letter addressed to the OWGR chairman Peter Dawson urging a decision in its favour whilst Kevin Na taunted his confidence in a press conference this week: "I strongly feel that we will get World Ranking points, and I'm not too worried about that, I feel like it's just a matter of timing of when," he said.
"I don't think it's an accurate World Ranking without every tour and every player being ranked. I really believe that we're going to get it, and hopefully sooner than later. I'm not too worried about it."
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.
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