LIV Golf‘s attempt to gain world ranking points for its players via a backdoor deal with the Mena Tour have been snubbed by the body that organises the rankings, leaving the Saudi-backed series with no immediate prospect of being granted official status.
The Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) has confirmed that LIV Golf events this season will not offer world ranking points, despite the Saudi-backed circuit’s new partnership with the MENA Tour, a Dubai-based tour that has offered world ranking points since 2016.
On Wednesday the Mena Tour announced a ‘strategic alliance’ with LIV Golf that would see all its events added to their schedule and all members of the LIV Golf circuit joining their tour. LIV Golf believed the move would make their events eligible to receive official world ranking points, potentially as soon as the Thailand tournament beginning today (Friday), although the OWGR said it had been given insufficient notice of the development and that a decision would only be made following a review.
In a statement earlier this week, the OWGR said: “We received a communication from the MENA Tour on October 5 detailing 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. The communication from the MENA Tour included a starting field data file for the Bangkok tournament, confirming that to be the case.
The statement added: “Regular official MENA Tour events conducted over 54 or 72 holes with a cut after 36 holes, and its Tour Championship, typically conducted over 54 holes with no cut, remain eligible for inclusion in the OWGR.”
All 48 players who competed at LIV Golf’s tournament in Chicago last month sent a joint letter to OWGR chairman Peter Dawson urging him to award ranking points to competitors, although the application for their own world ranking status remains under review.