Two More LIV Players Drop Out Of World's Top 100
Sebastian Munoz and Richard Bland are the latest LIV Golf players to fall outside the top 100 of the world rankings
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After LIV Golf players teed it up in the first tournament of the 2023 League season over the weekend, two more of its players dropped out of the world’s top 100.
New signing Sebastian Munoz began the weekend at World No.98. However, following his participation in the LIV Golf Mayakoba event, which, like the circuit’s other tournaments, didn’t offer Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points, he fell three places to World No.101.
Directly beneath him in the OWGR is another LIV Golf player, Richard Bland, who began the weekend filling the final place in the top 100 before sliding to World No.102.
While falling out of the top century of players has symbolic meaning, there is another, more important reason why, in Munoz’s and Bland’s case, it is damaging. That’s because the pair were relying on remaining in the top 100 to qualify for the second Major of the year, the PGA Championship.
Players in the top 100 who haven’t already qualified for the tournament are invariably invited to take part. Worryingly for Bland and Munoz, an invite is unlikely to be forthcoming without a move back into the top 100.
They do have the option of playing on tours that offer OWGR points. In Bland’s case, he has played regularly on the DP World Tour since joining LIV. However, he is currently awaiting the outcome of a hearing to determine whether LIV Golf players can continue on the Tour. Meanwhile, each has the chance to compete on the Asian Tour, something they both did recently in the Saudi International.
One issue, though, is that the LIV Golf schedule is significantly more congested than last year, with six more events than 2022, so squeezing in appearances on other circuits is likely to be problematic. Indeed, there are five more LIV Golf events between now and the Oak Hill Country Club Major, while travel will also be a factor, with the tournaments taking place in the USA, Singapore and Australia before then.
While Bland and Munoz get used to their new positions outside the coveted top 100, they could soon be joined by more LIV Golfers. Anirban Lahiri has dropped a place to World No.100 and will surely fall further soon, while not much higher than him is four-time Major winner Brooks Koepka, who has slipped five more places to World No.90.
Like Bland and Munoz, that spells bad news for Lahiri’s chances of reaching the PGA Championship, but at least that’s not a concern for Koepka. Thanks to those wins, he qualifies for every Major in 2023, although by the time the first of those, The Masters at Augusta National, comes round in April, he could also be outside the top 100.
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.
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