LIV Golf players are set ‘to earn world ranking points’ this week in Bangkok according to a report first published by The Telegraph.
A new strategic alliance with the MENA Tour – a satellite tour that has hardly seen a ball hit since the pandemic – could see LIV players earn the OWGR points they desperately crave to enable them to play their way into the majors from 2023.
As things stand, many top players have seen their rankings plummet since moving to LIV with Dustin Johnson now 23rd having been ranked as high as 3rd at the end of 2021 while Brooks Koepka is 32nd and Bryson DeChambeau is 48th. Patrick Reed has slipped to 54th having been 25th at the end of 2021.
Now the Saudi-backed breakaway circuit believes they have found their path back into the ranking system in time to be awarded points at this week’s event in Bangkok.
The 54-hole no-cut shotgun events still fall some way short of the OWGR criteria for issuing ranking points but LIV seemingly hope that through its strategic alliance with the MENA Tour and their predominantly 36-hole cut tournament schedule, that they’ve found a loophole that could tick a box in LIV’s favour.
The MENA Tour was recognised by OWGR in 2016 and has seen Irish players travel to compete in North Africa and the Middle East during the winter months.
Covid decimated the MENA Tour schedule but through its new alliance with LIV, suddenly it’s 2022/23 season looks set to get underway in Bangkok as MENA unveils the 48-man LIV line-up as if it was its own all along.
However, at the time of writing, the OWGR have yet to confirm that LIV-Bangkok will be recognised with points. Last month LIV players wrote to the OWGR requesting that LIV events be granted points in the interests of the integrity of the whole system.
You can read about why – at least prior to the potential MENA Tour loophole – that their request would’ve fallen some way short of the OWGR’s current criteria HERE