'Shock To The System' - Asian Tour CEO Comments On OWGR Points At Saudi International

The Saudi International is offering 24 World Ranking Points, while the event at Pebble Beach is offering 37.4

Cho Minn Thant speaks during a press conference
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Saudi International moves into its fifth year for 2023, with a number of huge names participating in the event that is sponsored by the kingdom’s Public Investment Fund – the same organisation that bankrolls LIV Golf.

Currently, LIV Golf is without Official World Golf Ranking Points, something which is hurting its many stars but, because the Saudi International is the first tournament of the Asian Tour season, it means that players will be able to claim OWGR points towards their position. 

Greg Norman and Thant chat during the Saudi International

LIV Golf CEO, Greg Norman and Asian Tour CEO, Cho Minn Thant chat during the 2023 Saudi International

(Image credit: Getty Images)

However, the subject of OWGR points has been a huge talking point since a new system was put in place in September 2022, with multiple players, including the likes of Tiger Woods, calling the system "flawed."

Now, in an interview with Golf, by TourMiss, the Asian Tour's Commissioner, Cho Minn Thant, has given his thoughts on the OWGR system, with his tournament offering less World Ranking Points (24) than that at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (37.4).

“As you know I’m on the Official Golf World Ranking technical committee, and we are discussing the feedback that we have received from all the players across the tours, not just the Asian Tour, the European Tour, the smaller tours, India, Thailand, the Alps Tour, etc and we’re examining it,” explained Thant.

“Obviously it’s very different to the way it used to be, but it is a shock to the system for a field such as this week’s Asian Tour event used to get a massive amount of points to what is now just 24 points for the winner this week, and it might have come down because DJ (Dustin Johnson) was included in that initial projection.

Ancer stares on in a pink shirt

Abraham Ancer leads going into the final round of the Saudi International 

(Image credit: Getty Images)

“It’s not disapproval from my side, it’s just how it really is. We’re definitely going to bring it up in a full review of the points the Asian Tour is receiving and all the other tours around the world. There is a review in process and it’ll be discussed for sure. So, it’s a little bit different from before but we do feel it needs to be looked at”.

Thant, who was promoted to the Tour's CEO in 2019, unveiled details of 'The International Series' back in 2022, with a $300 million investment and a 10-year alliance making way for 10 tournaments taking place across Asia and Europe that year. 

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x