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Irish Independent
Irish Independent
Brian Keogh

The LIV Letter: Saudi Rebels in plea to golf chiefs over world ranking points

Cameron Smith holds the winning trophy while posing with runner up Peter Uihlein, far left, and third place finisher Dustin Johnson

LIV Golf players have written an open letter to the Chairman of the Official Golf Rankings asking for world ranking points.

The Saudi-funded series has been lobbying hard for points in recent weeks and 49 players wrote on Friday to Chairman Peter Dawson, the former CEO of the R&A, making their case.

While LIV Golf applied to the OWGR for inclusion in the rankings in July, it could be more than two years before their application is processed and a decision made.

LIV players are sliding down the rankings and while that will eventually affect the ability of some to qualify for the Majors, they also argue the rankings will soon lack credibility with top players like recent LIV Golf winners Cameron Smith or Dustin Johnson no longer ranked accurately.

“As the athletes who are ranked, we depend on OWGR not just to qualify for the most important events, including the Majors and Olympics, but to tell us where we stand among our peers,” read the letter, which was signed by the 48 players who competed in Chicago last week as well as the injured Bubba Watson.

“Trust in the OWGR has been widespread and well-deserved. To maintain trust, we urge you - as one of the true statesmen of sports - to act appropriately to include, on a retroactive basis, the results of LIV Golf events in OWGR's ranking calculations.

“An OWGR without LIV would be incomplete and inaccurate, the equivalent of leaving the Big 10 or the SEC out of the U.S. college football rankings, or leaving Belgium [2nd], Argentina [3rd], and England [5th] out of the FIFA rankings.”

Open champion Smith has fallen from second to third in the world since signing for LIV Golf and winning in his first start while Johnson has fallen from 13th to 22nd in the world since he signed “despite finishing eighth, third, second, and first in the first four LIV events.”

As for the long wait for a decision from OWGR, the players added: “We hope the story we read today about the decision being slow walked so LIV golfers will slide down and to harm LIV is not accurate.”

However, they fail to mention the source of that Sports Illustrated story was relaying the feelings of “LIV Golf officials” on this alleged slow playing of their application.

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