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World Golf Rankings Won't Give LIV Points for 1st 2 Tournaments Despite Partnership

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVOctober 6, 2022

BEDMINSTER, NJ - JULY 29:  A general view of the LIV GOLF logo during round 1 of the LIV Golf Invitational Series on July 29, 2022 at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.  (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Official World Golf Ranking announced Thursday it won't reward ranking points for LIV Golf's next two tournaments in Thailand and Saudi Arabia as it reviews LIV's partnership with the MENA Tour.

OWGR @OWGRltd

Official World Golf Ranking Statement<br><br>Follow the link below to our website for more Information: <a href="https://t.co/3mQtB9cbyN">https://t.co/3mQtB9cbyN</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/OWGR?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#OWGR</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/OfficialWorldGolfRanking?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#OfficialWorldGolfRanking</a> <a href="https://t.co/ARqbnVXpxi">pic.twitter.com/ARqbnVXpxi</a>

ESPN's Mark Schlabach reported Wednesday that LIV formed a "strategic alliance" with MENA, a little-known golf league in the Middle East and North Africa, in an effort to qualify its golfers for placement points in the OWGR.

LIV Golf, which is financed by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, hasn't been able to gain access to the OWGR since it began to play in June.

Executives from LIV and MENA expressed optimism their partnership could benefit both parties, per Schlabach.

"This is a very exciting day for the MENA Tour and our players," MENA commissioner David Spencer said. "Through this alliance, our players will now have enhanced playing opportunities and stronger pathways. This is great news for the future of many young players on our Tour."

LIV president Atul Khosla highlighted the importance of finding a way to secure ranking points for its competitors.

"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," Khosla said. "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 longer LIV goes without the ability for its golfers to earn OWGR points, the tougher it will be for non-exempt players to qualify for future major tournaments.

After the stops in Thailand and Saudi Arabia, LIV will have just one tournament left on its 2022 scheduleโ€”the Team Championship event in Miami beginning Oct. 28.

If the OWGR review isn't complete by that point, the new tour will have to wait until next year for the potential addition of ranking points for its events.