Bryson DeChambeau has accused the Official World Golf Ranking of “slow playing” the LIV Golf Series’ urgent quest for its golfers to pick up points and declared that “lies are being told” to block the Saudi-funded circuit.
DeChambeau criticised the game’s traditional powers for the decision to deny LIV’s bid to circumvent the OWGR application process for points by forming a “strategic alliance” with the Mena Tour, the little-known development circuit based in Dubai.
LIV had believed that the loophole would give its players access to ranking points at this week’s £22 million (€25m) event in Bangkok. But OWGR deemed that the Mena Tour submission had been made too late and that it was conducting a review.
With the OWGR panel featuring Jay Monahan, the PGA Tour commissioner, and Keith Pelley, the DP World Tour chief executive, DeChambeau thinks there is a deliberate tactic to stall the procedure, despite LIV being made aware that the application for its own recognition could take at least a year.
“They’re delaying the inevitable,” DeChambeau, the 2020 US Open champion, said after yesterday’s first round in Thailand. “They’re going to just keep playing a waiting game, where we’re going to keep dropping down in the rankings to where our points (if and when they are granted) won’t ever matter.
“That’s what they’re trying to accomplish, and I hope that people can see right through that rather than believe the lies that they’ve been told.”
David Spencer, the Mena Tour commissioner, is similarly convinced that OWGR’s rejection on Thursday was erroneous, claiming that the LIV Series – soon to be league – was now merely a part of his Tour. “We have had various communications with OWGR since submitting our 2022-’23 schedule, Mena Tour handbook, exemption criteria and our field ahead of our opening event of our new season which tees off today,” he said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Jonathan Yates enjoys a commanding position at the Emilia Romagna Alps Tour grand final with a two-day score of 11-under par to lead by three shots. Waterford’s Gary Hurley is in a four-way tie for third at seven-under par.
A top-five finish in the money list after the final round will secure both a Challenge Tour card.
Elsewhere, home favourite Jon Rahm sits two shots off the pace in the Spanish Open after a second-round 68 left him on ten-under. England’s Paul Waring and Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher lead on 12-under.
Niall Kearney sits eight shots off the lead after another 69, while Paul Dunne and Jonathan Caldwell are two further shots behind on the two-under cut mark.