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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Joshua Lees

MENA Tour chief fires back as LIV Golf’s world ranking points plan goes up in smoke

MENA Tour commissioner David Spencer has fired back after LIV Golf 's hopes of securing world ranking points were crushed. On Wednesday LIV announced they had formed a 'strategic alliance' with the lesser known MENA Tour.

The deal was struck in the hope of finally securing world ranking points for their now co-sanctioned event in Bangkok this week, with MENA already recognised by the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR). However, just a day before the sixth event of the series, LIV were dealt a huge blow.

As a result OWGR released a statement on Thursday confirming that the application for ranking points in Bangkok this week - as well as Jeddah later this month - had been rejected, and was subject to an investigation.

In a statement the ranking system confirmed: "Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) received a communication from the MENA... 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... 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)."

LIV are searching for world ranking recognition (PA)

Amid the drama MENA boss Spencer has spoken out in defence of his tour's new found alliance and application, claiming the co-sanctioned LIV event in Bangkok should not be treated any differently to their other OWGR recognised events. He said : "We have had various communications with OWGR since submitting our 2022/23 schedule, MENA Tour handbook, exemption criteria and our field ahead of our opening event of our new season which tees off today.

"None of this communication pointed towards any technical reason for the LIV Golf Invitational Bangkok to be treated any differently to any MENA Tour event, every one of which has received OWGR since we were accepted into the OWGR framework in 2016.’’

Do you think LIV Golf players should receive ranking points? Let us know in the comments section below.

Dustin Johnson has called for OWGR recognition (AP)

As the saga surrounding the Saudi-backed series and its battling for world ranking recognition rolls on, LIV star Dustin Johnson revealed on Thursday that he believes he and his fellow stars 'deserve' ranking points.

Speaking ahead of the Bangkok event he told reporters : "It's supposed to be a non-biased organisation [OWGR], so we are playing golf, competing with some of the best golfers in the world, so yes, we should be awarded points.

"Will they do that? Hopefully. Like I said, I think we deserve them, and hopefully we'll get them." Following the opening round in Thailand Johnson sits tied for 21st on two-under-par, five shots behind leader Richard Bland as the American chases a second-successive LIV Golf title.

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