Dustin Johnson has argued he and his fellow LIV Golf players 'deserve ranking points', amid the Official World Golf Rankings decision to turn down the request ahead of this week's LIV event in Bangkok.
Since its inception in June, the Saudi-backed series have been battling for OWGR recognition, but are yet to succeed. Their fortunes looked to have changed though after the series struck up a 'strategic alliance' with the lesser known - but OWGR-recognised - MENA Tour, which was expected to see them gain ranking points ahead of this week's LIV event in Bangkok.
However, OWGR confirmed on Thursday that after reviewing MENA's new found link up and application with LIV, ranking points would not be awarded for this week's tournament, or the one after in Jeddah.
The ranking system confirmed in a statement: "Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) received a communication from the MENA... The communication detailed significant changes to the MENA Tour’s membership structure along with an outline of the initial series of tournaments in the 2022/23 MENA Tour season...
"OWGR notes that the first two tournaments in this series appeared to be the same as the LIV Golf Invitational Series tournaments in Bangkok and Jeddah... Notice of these changes given by the MENA Tour is insufficient to allow OWGR to conduct the customary necessary review ahead of the LIV Golf Invitational Bangkok (7-9 October) and LIV Golf Invitational Jeddah (14-16 October)."
Just hours before the ranking system's announcement, one of LIV's leading stars Johnson discussed the topic ahead of this week's tournament at Stonehill. As a result, the 2020 Masters champion claimed he and his fellow rebel players 'deserved' the recognition from OWGR.
He said: "It's supposed to be a non-biased organisation [OWGR], so we are playing golf, competing with some of the best golfers in the world, so yes, we should be awarded points.
"Will they do that? Hopefully. Like I said, I think we deserve them, and hopefully we'll get them."
Do you think LIV Golf players deserve ranking points? Let us know in the comments section below.
Following the blow for Greg Norman and his Saudi-backed series, the ranking system also confirmed that a concrete decision surrounding ranking points at future events would only be announced after a review into the LIV-MENA application had been completed.
The statement added: "Only after the review is complete will a decision be made on awarding points to the MENA Tour’s new 'Limited Field Tournaments' [LIV Golf events], defined by the MENA Tour in its Regulations as 'any MENA Tour-approved tournament, which comprises of a player field of less than 80 players'.
"Regular official MENA Tour events conducted over 54 or 72 holes with a cut after 36 holes, and its Tour Championship, typically conducted over 54 holes with no cut, remain eligible for inclusion in the OWGR. "