Rory McIlroy Hits Out At LIV Golf World Rankings Plea

The 33-year-old said he thinks LIV Golf needs to follow the criteria if it's ever to be granted OWGR status

Rory McIlroy talks to the media before the 2022 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy has said that he has no issues with LIV Golf being able to issue Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points, but not if they can make up their own rules to do so.  

The 33-year-old is participating in this week’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship along with several LIV Golf players as they seek the OWGR points they currently aren’t entitled to receive in the Saudi-backed Series. While that is a situation that is likely to continue for the foreseeable future, McIlroy has said that he thinks the best players in the world should be ranked according to their ability – but not without LIV Golf conforming to the rules needed to secure OWGR status.

Speaking ahead of the tournament at St Andrews, the Northern Irishman said: “I certainly would want the best players in the world ranked accordingly. I think Dustin Johnson is somewhere around 100th in the world. It's not an accurate reflection of where he is in the game. But at the same time, you can’t make up your own rules. There’s criteria there, everyone knows what they are and if they want to pivot to meet the criteria they can. I’ve not problem with them getting World Ranking points at all but you have to meet the criteria. If you don’t it’s hard to justify why you should have them.”

Video: What Is LIV Golf?

The issue of OWGR for LIV Golf is becoming thornier as time progresses. Some players, including Jon Rahm, have expressed their unhappiness that some of its players are choosing to compete on the DP World to secure OWGR points until their status on the Tour is settled in court next year. Meanwhile, 50 LIV Golf players recently signed a letter addressed to OWGR chairman Peter Dawson urging the organisation to make a decision in their favour.

However, McIlroy said the best way to resolve issues such as the OWGR saga is to come together, but the timing needs to be right. He said: “I've always said I think there is a time and a place where everyone that's involved here should sit down and try to work together. It's very hard for that to happen right now when there's two lawsuits going on. And I think, as well, there's a natural timeline here to let temperatures just sort of settle down a little bit and people can maybe go into those mediations with cooler heads and not be so emotional about it all."

Despite that, McIlroy also expressed his desire for the power struggle to be resolved soon. He said: "I don’t want a fractured game. The game of golf is ripping itself apart right now and that’s no good for anyone. It’s not good for the guys on the traditional system or the guys on the other side either. Right now, with where everything is, it’s probably not the right time but we probably can’t leave it too much longer. I’m all for getting round the table and sorting things out.”

As well as the OWGR issue, the status of LIV Golf players on the DP World Tour has yet to be determined. Meanwhile, three LIV Golf players remain in an antitrust lawsuit brought against the PGA Tour as they seek to have their suspensions lifted. With that trial not due to begin until January 2024, and with PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan recently ruling out linking up with LIV Golf to resolve their differences, McIlroy’s wish for an end to the disagreements could be a while away yet.

Mike Hall

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.