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Irish Independent
Irish Independent
Brian Keogh

LIV partners with MENA Tour to get world-ranking points

Séamus Power will be gunning for world-ranking points at the PGA Tour’s Shriners Children’s Open in Las Vegas. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

LIV Golf has formed a strategic alliance with the developmental MENA Tour that will see its players finally earn world-ranking points.

The developmental Middle East and North African (MENA) Tour restarts with the LIV Golf Thailand event at Stonehill tomorrow.

All LIV Golf Invitational events will become part of the MENA Tour, which has been recognised by the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) since 2016.

“We are taking this mutually beneficial action to support the game at the developmental level, and because of the importance and fairness of LIV golfers qualifying for OWGR points,” said Atul Khosla, the president and COO of LIV Golf.

“We’re pleased to create pathways that give more opportunities for young players, while also giving fans rankings that include all the world’s best golfers.”

LIV Golf applied for OWGR status earlier this summer, and with that process expected to take a year or more, 50 LIV players wrote to the OWGR, calling for points to be awarded to LIV immediately.

However, Rory McIlroy pointed out that LIV Golf had to follow the criteria set out by OWGR and obey the rules, just like MENA Golf, which took five years to get points.

Under the new world-rankings system, limited field events receive fewer points – and it remains to be seen how this week’s LIV Golf event will be rated.

Séamus Power will be gunning for the 42.9 world-ranking points at the PGA Tour’s Shriners Children’s Open in Las Vegas as Jon Rahm and Tommy Fleetwood chase just 14.2 points at the Spanish Open in Madrid. Ireland has six players at the Club de Campo – Niall Kearney, Jonny Caldwell, Paul Dunne, Cormac Sharvin, David Carey and Gavin Moynihan – chasing a career-changing win.

In California, 79th-ranked Stephanie Meadow continues her quest for a spot in the season-ending CME Tour Championship at the LPGA Mediheal Championship.

It’s also a crucial week on the Challenge Tour with 15th-ranked Tom McKibbin the leading Irishman in the field at the British Challenge at St Mellion, which is the third last event in the chase for 20 DP World Tour cards

John Murphy (38th), Rúaidhrí McGee (43rd) and Conor Purcell (75th) also play, while Pádraig Harrington will continue chasing Charles Schwab Cup race leader in the Constellation Furyk & Friends on the PGA Tour Champions in Jacksonville tomorrow. Harrington is $258,712 behind Steven Alker in the money list but plans to play the last five events of the season.

On the Alps Tour, fourth-ranked Gary Hurley will be gunning for one of five Challenge Tour cards awarded after the season-ending Emilia Romagna Alps Tour Grand Final, where 20th-ranked Jonathan Yates and 52nd-ranked James Sugrue also play.

A flooded course prevented any play in the second round of the DP World Tour Q-School First Stage at Mottram Hall in Cheshire yesterday.

Open de Espana

Live, Sky Sports, 12.30

Shriners Children’s Open

Live, Sky Sports, 5.30

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