LIV Golf is expecting its stars 'to earn world ranking points' when competing in Bangkok this week, according to reports. The series has been running without the awarding of points since its inception in June.
This has led to many of the world's best golfers slipping down the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR), since signing with the Saudi-backed series this summer. Since then the breakaway circuit has been locked in a battle to acquire recognition from the OWGR.
And now according to The Telegraph, the series has finally succeeded with what seems to be a loophole, after signing a 'strategic alliance' with the lesser-known MENA Tour. The report adds that LIV has sought confirmation from the OWGR that rankings will be available for the tournament in Bangkok.
The MENA Tour was recognised by OWGR in 2016, and its events are held across the Middle East and North Africa. Due to the impact of the Covid pandemic the MENA Tour has struggled to host tournaments, as the circuit's activity went stale in 2021.
Now though it is set to kick off its 2022/23 season in Bangkok this week, via its newly found alliance with the Saudi-backed series. OWGR points is one of LIV Golf's biggest steps so far, with the lack of recognition recently seen as a huge dent in its armour.
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Ranking points now means their playing members who do not already have major championship exemptions can now qualify for golf's four flagship events next year.
The alliance comes as a welcome boost for the series and its boss Greg Norman, who would have been expected to wait two years for individual OWGR recognition.
The dispute surrounding LIV's application for ranking points has been brewing in recent weeks, after each member of their playing quota at the Chicago event wrote a letter to OWGR boss Peter Dawson. The discussion was a large talking point at last week's Alfred Dunhill Championship.
One of LIV's most vocal critics, Rory McIlroy admitted he has 'no problem' with the circuit receiving ranking points, but only if they met the correct 'criteria'. He said: "I certainly would want the best players in the world ranked accordingly.
"I think if Dustin Johnson is somewhere around 100th in the world then it's not an accurate reflection of where he is in the game. But at the same time, you can't make up your own rules. If they want to pivot to meet the criteria, they can…
"I certainly have no problem with them getting world ranking points, at all. But if you don't meet the criteria, it's going to be hard to justify why you should have them.”