Viktor Hovland has hit out at LIV Golf 's battle to acquire world ranking points, accusing the Saudi-backed series of 'making up rules as they go'. Since its inception in June, the LIV Series has gone ahead without Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) recognition.
This has resulted in a number of the breakaway circuit's players plummeting down the world rankings, after competing without OWGR points for over four months. In a bid to rectify the issue, the Saudi-funded series announced a 'strategic alliance' with the lesser known MENA Tour - who are OWGR recognised.
This led to last week's event in Bangkok and this week's in Jeddah being co-sanctioned with MENA, in the hope of ranking points being on offer at both tournaments.
LIV's attempts were in vain though as OWGR revealed MENA's co-sanctioning application gave the ranking 'insufficient notice' to investigate the new 'Limited Field Tournaments' - better known as LIV Golf events. The Saudi-backed series link up with MENA looked to being an attempt to fast track the breakaway circuit's chances of receiving world ranking recognition.
PGA Tour star Hovland however hit out at the attempt, calling for LIV to 'follow the process'. Speaking ahead of this week's Zozo Championship in Japan, he said: "I don't know all the different regulations and how difficult it is to get World Ranking points. I just think at the end of the day, if you want to get World Ranking points, you obviously have to follow the process.
"They're obviously making an effort to get those points, but I don't think it's right to give them an exemption to just get points overnight. They obviously have to follow the process, whatever the process might be."
He went on: "I don’t really know what the answer is, but you can’t just make up new rules as you go.” Hovland's views echo those of his European Ryder Cup teammate Rory McIlroy, who also accused LIV of 'not playing by the rules' when speaking at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship last month.
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McIlroy told Sky Sports : "If they meet the criteria they get world ranking points. I don't see any reason why they shouldn't, as long as they meet the criteria that is set out. The one thing that has been frustrating from the start of this is that they don't want to play by the rules that have been in place for so long.
"It can't be one set of rules for a certain amount of people and then a certain set of rules for everyone else - everyone has to abide by the same rules here. If they're willing to abide by the rules then 100 per cent they should get world ranking points, but the way everything is right now and the way their tour is set up, I just think it makes it very difficult for them to make that argument."