LIV golfers urge world rankings chairman to award points to their events

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Cameron Smith
Cameron Smith is the highest ranked golfer in the LIV series at third in the world

Golfers playing in the Saudi-funded LIV Golf series have written to the Official World Golf Ranking asking that its events are awarded ranking points.

The letter to governing board chairman Peter Dawson was signed by 50 players.

LIV, which launched in June and has held five events so far, applied for recognition from the rankings in July.

“Every week that passes without the inclusion of LIV athletes undermines the historical value of OWGR,” the players wrote.

“As time goes by, LIV golfers automatically decline in the rankings.”

The rankings play a key role in deciding entry into golf’s four majors and qualifying for the Olympics.

Open champion Cameron Smith, LIV’s highest ranked player, was world number two when he joined the Saudi Arabian-funded series last month, but has dropped to world number three.

He had his first win on the tour at Chicago at the weekend, pocketing £3.5m in prize money – but will not receive any ranking points.

In the letter sent on 16 September, the players added: “To maintain trust, we urge you – as one of the true statesmen of sports – to act appropriately to include, on a retroactive basis, the results of LIV Golf events in OWGR’s ranking calculations.

“An OWGR without LIV would be incomplete and inaccurate, the equivalent of leaving Belgium, Argentina, and England out of the Fifa rankings.

“Some 23 tours are integrated into the OWGR universe, and LIV has earned its place among them. Four LIV golfers have held the number-one position on the OWGR, and one is currently number-two. LIV’s roster includes 21 of the last 51 winners of the four Majors.

“The level of competition at the average LIV event is at least equal to that at the average PGA Tour event. We know because we’ve played in both.”

Players competing in the LIV series are currently barred from playing in PGA Tour events, although the DP World Tour has temporarily lifted suspensions on LIV Golf players.

The OWGR’s board includes PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan and DP World Tour chief executive Keith Pelley.

In the letter the players claimed that board members are “conflicted and are keeping the OWGR from acting as it should”.

LIV golfers called for a quick decision for “the benefit of the integrity of the rankings, the game and all of us who love the sport” adding that excluding the players “would mean the fans are being denied what they deserve”.

The OWGR has yet to respond to the letter, but the Press Association said a source at the organisation said it does not comment on the application process.

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