LIV Golf players will not receive world ranking points for the upcoming event in Bangkok or next week’s in Jeddah, the Official World Golf Ranking organisation has said.
The Saudi-funded breakaway claimed on Wednesday that a new strategic alliance with the MENA Tour “would immediately qualify LIV Golf for OWGR points”, a vital way for players to qualify for major championships.
However, OWGR said on Thursday it had been given insufficient notice of the development and that a decision on awarding ranking points would only be made following a review.
“Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) received a communication from the MENA Tour on October 5th, 2022, at 13:05 BST,” the OWGR statement read.
“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. The communication from the MENA Tour included a starting field data file for the Bangkok tournament, confirming that to be the case.
“A review of the changes to the MENA Tour is now under way by the OWGR.
“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).
“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’.
“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 Middle East and North Africa Tour (MENA) has been inactive since the start of the global pandemic.
The 48 players who featured in LIV’s event in Chicago last month, including Open champion Cameron Smith and six-time major winner Phil Mickelson, wrote to OWGR chairman Peter Dawson last month requesting ranking points to be attributed to past and future events.