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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Cameron Jourdan

LIV Golf members will not earn Official World Golf Ranking points in Bangkok or Jeddah, OWGR reviewing changes to MENA Tour

Not so fast, LIV Golf, says the Official World Golf Ranking.

On Wednesday, in its quest to earn world ranking points in its events, LIV Golf officials announced a ‘strategic alliance’ with the MENA Tour (Middle East and North Africa). The goal was for LIV’s events to be sanctioned by the Dubai-based developmental tour, which is recognized by the OWGR.

On Thursday, officials from the OWGR released a statement of their own, announcing that LIV Golf members wouldn’t be receiving OWGR points for its next two events, this week in Bangkok and next week in Jeddah.

The OWGR said it received communication detailing 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 on Wednesday, and those changes included the first two tournaments of the series, and only on the schedule thus far, were the next two LIV Golf events.

“A review of the changes to the MENA Tour is now underway by the OWGR,” the release said. “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 (Oct. 7-9) and LIV Golf Invitational Jeddah (Oct. 14-16).

“Only after the review is complete will a decision be made on awarding points to the MENA Tour’s new “Limited Field Tournaments”, 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.”

The OWGR statement also said 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.

The MENA Tour was founded in 2011 by the Shaikh Maktoum Golf Foundation and was previously affiliated with both the R&A and the Arab Golf Federation. After five years the MENA Tour was recognized by the Official World Golf Ranking in 2016.

Norman and the players have been adamant from the start that LIV Golf events deserve OWGR points, so much so that LIV officials recently wrote a letter to the OWGR chairman asking for events to retroactively earn points. The application process for points can take up to a year, and LIV officials applied in July.

The “strategic alliance” is one of many bold moves made by the circuit to earn OWGR points.

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