LIV Golf has been handed a boost after being told that two of their biggest opponents would not be part of the world ranking points decision-making process.
The Saudi-backed tour will host 14 events this year and has also landed a television deal with CW Network to broadcast the series to 120 million households in the US. However, the rebel tour is yet to be granted Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points which are required for its members qualify for Major championships in years to come.
Last year LIV Golf members signed a joint letter to OWGR chairman Peter Dawson pleading for validation of the breakaway series.
LIV Golf have now been given a boost as PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan and DP World Tour chief executive Keith Pelley have both distanced themselves from the OWGR points decision, along with DP World Tour chief operating Officer Keith Waters.
“At the last OWGR board meeting (in December) myself, Jay Monahan and Keith Waters recused ourselves and now a separate committee made up of the four Majors will now determine the application,” Pelley told The Telegraph
“I have not looked at the LIV application and I've not given my opinions on an application I've not seen. So, as far as LIV goes, we are not involved in it and have no influence or say in what transpires.”
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The news will provide a boost for LIV Golf chief executive Greg Norman and rebels who have been banned from competing in PGA Tour events. A similar decision by the DP World Tour to ban members was challenged in the courts resulting in a decision over their participation being delayed until February.
The OWGR ranking decision will now be decided by a new separate committee consisting of the Augusta National Golf Club, the R&A, the USGA and the PGA of America.
Despite criticising the breakaway circuit for 'dividing' golf, organisers of the Masters Augusta National have invited LIV Golf members to compete in the opening Major of the season in April.
However, LIV Golf still face a hurdle after the OWGR sent them a subtle message after granting the Gira de Golf Profesional de Mexicana ranking points. The 54-hole tournaments have 36-hole cuts in their events and a route to qualifying but still took 16 months to earn their status.
The no-cut LIV Golf events are restricted to a 48-man invitational field which could be a stumbling block in being awarded OWGR points.