Mickelson: World Golf Rankings can keep credibility by including LIV

Ronan MacNamara
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Phil Mickelson (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Phil Mickelson believes the decision to award LIV Golf players world ranking points would be good for everyone involved and would help maintain the credibility of the World Golf Rankings. 

LIV has formed an alliance with the MENA Tour which means that players could be awarded world ranking points for this week’s LIV event in Bangkok before Friday’s opening round. 

The MENA Tour – a third tier circuit launched in 2011 – will now sanction the LIV events and has been recognised by the OWGR since 2016 with the likes of Robin Dawson and Conor O’Rourke making appearances earlier this year. 

“I think from a player standpoint, it feels great to have everyone at LIV fighting so hard for the players and their best interests,” explained Mickelson. 

“I think for the World Golf Rankings, this is a great way to keep its credibility, while not bringing in politics into the decision-making process. I think it’s good for all parties.” 

The final field for LIV Golf Thailand – now the opening event of the MENA Tour 2022/23 season – will be submitted by MENA Tour commissioner David Spencer ahead of play commencing on Friday with the OWGR expected to conform the field rating and winner’s points.  

LIV players such as Talor Gooch, Patrick Reed, Louis Oosthuizen and Abraham Ancer to name a few have been playing in DP World Tour events over the last month in order to earn world ranking points to maintain their places in the OWGR top-50 to play the majors next year should they not be exempt. 

Coincidentally, Patrick Reed fell outside the top-50 for the first time in almost nine years after a missed cut at the Open de France while Dustin Johnson is ranked outside the top-20 for the first time since February 2015 – which Rory McIlroy admitted wasn’t a true reflection on the world of golf. 

Mickelson, a six-time major winner and now world number 134 hopes that the World Golf Rankings will maintain their credibility and award the ranking points that this week’s field deserves:

“The reason I’m not concerned is that the number of points are based on the quality of the field and not the organization that’s running the tournament, and the quality of our field is remarkably strong, and I’m sure for the world golf rankings to maintain their credibility, they’ll continue to award the proper number of points that the tournaments deserve for all tours. 

“Given the many obstacles that we have had to face from those trying to stop it, I think it’s a great way to do this in addition to adding in a developmental tour for the Asian Tour who will be our feeding tour going forward. So I think it’s a win on all parts.” 

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