Rory McIlroy admits he has no problem with LIV golfers being awarded world ranking points, but only if they play by the rules and meet the necessary criteria to earn them.
Slowly but surely, LIV golfers are seeing their rankings plummet, with Dustin Johnson ranked outside the top-20 and the self professed top-5 golfer in the world Patrick Reed falling outside the top-50 for the first time in almost nine years.
McIlroy admits that if the LIV golfers don’t receive world ranking points, the current standings would not be a true reflection of the current landscape but doesn’t think the exiled players should be given preferential treatment with the likes of Talor Gooch, Louis Oosthuizen, Richard Bland and Branden Grace all in the field for this week’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in search of world ranking points.
The process to apply and receive world ranking points can take up to two years and McIlroy suggested that LIV join the queue.
“I certainly would want the best players in the world ranked accordingly. I think Dustin Johnson is somewhere around 100th in the world (He’s 23rd!). It’s not an accurate reflection of where he is in the game,” said McIlroy.
“But at the same time, you can’t make up your own rules. There’s criteria there and everyone knows what they are. If they want to pivot to meet the criteria, they can, and then all of a sudden — I certainly have no problem with them getting World Ranking points, at all. But you just have to meet the criteria, and if you don’t meet the criteria, it’s going to be hard to justify why you should have them.”
There is arguably no better reminder of what golf is all about than the Dunhill Links as professionals and amateurs come together to compete over the next four days and McIlroy acknowledged that the professional game is only a small part of golf and that there is so much more to the sport than money.
“There’s more to golf than the professional game, it’s such a small part of the game of golf. Golf is so much bigger than all of us and I think people miss that,” he said
“Yeah, I thought the 150th Open Championship was really a feel-good moment for the year. It bigger than all this crap we’ve talked about all year. It St Andrews and tradition and where the game was created and where it was built. That’s golf at the end of the day. We’re all playing the same game. Sometimes our vision of what that game should be is a little bit different but at the end of the day it is golf and it’s a wonderful game and it’s a game that can be played for life.
“You know, my two-year-old daughter swing a club and hit a ball — well, not the same as a my dad, but you know what I mean, like grandparents can play with grand kids, different generations can sort of all be interested in something together. That’s one of the most special things about our game that has been lost in all this rhetoric the last few weeks.”
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