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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Mirror reporter

Graeme McDowell earns half of his 2021 prizemoney in three days at LIV golf but it's a disaster for his world ranking

There was a mammoth $20 million purse on offer at last weekend's LIV Golf Invitational Bangkok where Irish golfer Graeme McDowell was among those fighting for the cash - but not world ranking points.

Spaniard Eugenio Lopez-Chacarra came out on top on Sunday at the end of the 54-hole individual competition and he took home a whopping $4 million for the three days work.

The Oklahoma State All-American gave up his senior season to turn pro this summer and sign with LIV and he will feel that decision has been vindicated after leaving Stonehill Golf Club with the huge first prize.

Read next: Jon Rahm disagrees with Rory McIlroy's stance on LIV Golf stars playing at Ryder Cup

American Patrick Reed was five shots back in second place but still took home a prize of $2,125,000.

Portrush native McDowell started strongly in Thailand but finished well off the pace in a tie for 41st place alongside Anirban Lahiri, Matthew Wolf and Open champion Cameron Smith.

That finish secured a reward of $131,000 for McDowell for the LIV golf weekend. For comparison, McDowell officially earned $212,749 on the course for the entire 2021 season on the PGA Tour.

One of the major drawbacks for the LIV stars, however, is their tumbling down the official world rankings as golf's civil war rumbles on.

While McDowell was ranked fourth in the world just over a decade ago, he has been slipping down the list in the years since and started 2022 in 326th place. He has now fallen to 419th in the official rankings.

Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy during the 2014 Ryder Cup ((Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images))

Last month, after missing the cut at the Open de France, Patrick Reed dropped out of the top 50 in the ranking for the first time since 2014.

Dustin Johnson is down to 23rd in the OWGR, his lowest point since February 2015. The two-time major winner has received $18m after being announced as the winner of the inaugural LIV Golf championship.

The American, 38, claimed victory at the LIV Golf Invitational in Boston in September among five top-10 finishes in the six events of the series to date

Phil Mickelson has fallen further than any other player, dropping 62 places in the world rankings since the inaugural event outside London in June to 134th.

In recent years, three of the four men's majors have formally used the world ranking as a criteria for entry. The Masters takes the top 50 at the end of the calendar year and a week prior to the tournament.

The US Open takes the top 60 players at two points in the weeks ahead of its championship. And the Open Championship takes the top 50 players in the ranking eight weeks prior to its tournament.

The PGA of America doesn't use the OWGR for an exemption into the PGA Championship, but has previously invited players inside the top 100 not already qualified shortly before its championship.

Rory McIlroy sits third in the world rankings, having ended 2021 in ninth place.


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