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Irish Independent
Irish Independent
Carl Markham

Saudi-backed LIV rebels believe they qualify for world ranking points after strategic move with another Tour

Greg Norman of LIV Golf

Saudi-backed breakaway series LIV Golf believe it has gained long-awaited access to official world ranking points after signing a strategic alliance with the MENA Tour.

The Middle East and North Africa Tour (MENA), based in Dubai and recognised by the Official World Golf Rankings since 2016, share similarities with LIV in that it hosts 54-hole tournaments.

Crucially, however, it offers the ranking points which LIV has been searching for – having written to OWGR chairman Peter Dawson last month asking for retroactive inclusion for its events – after the golfers who signed up for the rebel series were suspended from the PGA Tour.

As a result, LIV’s roster of players have all joined the MENA Tour.

“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 president and COO of LIV Golf Atul Khosla.

“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.”

The MENA Tour has been inactive since the start of the global pandemic but is set to launch its wraparound 2022-23 schedule with LIV Golf Thailand – the sixth event in LIV’s eight-tournament inaugural calendar – in Bangkok.

According to the MENA Tour, the final field for the event will be submitted to the OWGR ahead of play starting on Friday when it expects ranking points to be finalised.

“This is a very exciting day for the MENA Tour and our players,” said MENA Tour commissioner David Spencer.

“This is great news for the future of many young players on our tour.”

OWGR were not available for comment when contacted by the PA news agency.

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