It’s no secret that the LIV Golf Tour is a polarizing enterprise, but public perception is the least of its worries in its quest for longevity. Thanks to failing to meet certain criteria, the Saudi-backed tour is not able to dole out World Ranking points.
This is problematic for a couple of reasons. First, it hurts the legitimacy of the tour. A key critique of LIV has been its glorified-exhibition feel, and without any World Ranking points at stake, that claim is only bolstered.
Second, without World Ranking points up for grabs, LIV players are free-falling in the Official World Golf Ranking, and many of them are risking missing out on the majors. Some of them have opted to play on other tours in the interim in an effort to sustain their ranking, but the strategy doesn’t seem sustainable.
So, LIV and its players are on a crusade for accreditation from the Official World Golf Ranking. The biggest hurdle they’ve faced thus far? They flat-out don’t meet the criteria. At 54 holes and without a cut, LIV tournaments fall short on two key components. The 48-man field size also hurts their cause, as an average field size of at least 75 players is required.
Despite these obvious shortcomings, LIV players are on a PR campaign showcasing why they think their tournaments are worthy of OWGR points. At this week’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, Branden Grace became the latest to lay out his case.
“Look at the field that’s playing,” he said. “You’ve got the No. 2 player in the world playing on the LIV Tour. All of us, we’ve played golf and supported all the tours in the world — we’re hell of a players … I think it’s just fair.”
Grace hit on the typical LIV talking points (playing less golf, spending more time with the family, etc.), but the thrust of his argument centered around the quality of players in these fields.
But what about those pesky criteria? Well, Grace pointed out that while LIV might not meet all criteria, they do meet some of the bullet points.
“I know it’s the beginning of it,” he said. “But hopefully sooner or later we’re going to get there.”
It’s unclear when the LIV-OWGR issue will be resolved, but in the mean time, expect many more LIV-ers speaking out in support of their new tour.