Graeme McDowell believes LIV Golf’s request to be recognised by the Official World Golf Rankings should be honoured as soon as possible in order to preserve the credibility of the ranking system.
The Northern Irishman was speaking at today’s LIV press conference prior to this week’s season finale in Jeddah alongside Dustin Johnson and Harold Varner III. Asked about the possibility of LIV soon receiving ranking points, McDowell jumped in to field the question, insisting it’s impossible for the powers that be to continue to omit LIV from the system.
“”I think it’s possible for the guys to get some assurances,” said McDowell. “We all agree and I think most people in the world of golf would agree that the field out here is to a certain strength now where it’s impossible to ignore the talent that’s out here.
“This guy standing in the middle of the three of us (Dustin Johnson), if his World Ranking is inaccurate, then the whole system is inaccurate. So the only assurances we get from LIV is that we are ticking all the boxes that we can tick and continue to do what is necessary for the OWGR to look at us the right way.
“Hopefully it’s inevitable, but the longer it goes on, the games that are being played, you know, all we want is to have a fair core, if you like, to recognise exactly what it is that we are doing out here.
“Like I said, I feel like LIV tried to do everything they possibly can to be legitimate in the eyes of the OWGR. We’ve got some quality, quality players out here.”
For what it’s worth, Varner III was clearly impressed with McDowell’s answer, saying “thank you, Graeme”.
McDowell replied; “Love you lots,” adding, “The word “Official” has to go away from OWGR if they don’t take care of the players out here.”
Varner III lovingly hat-tipped McDowell; “That was unbelievable, your answer.”
Unbelievable indeed because while LIV may claim to be ticking OWGR boxes, many would disagree. Under its current guise, the 54-hole no-cut invitation only format has certainly fallen short of most qualification requirements, something LIV clearly accepted when turning to the little known MENA Tour for a strategic alliance that they hoped would provide a loophole they needed into the ranking system.
However, OWGR responded to say it needed time to conduct a customary review of LIV’s new application, meaning last week’s event in Bangkok and this week’s in Jeddah were not recognised by OWGR. Bryson DeChambeau reckons OWGR is hiding behind lies. Brooks Koepka wants the fence sitting to end.
For McDowell’s part, in the face of evidence that points to the contrary, he’s simply satisfied that LIV has been fully transparent throughout the process to date in the face of an OWGR board that he declares to be conflicted..
“I love the fact that LIV has been so transparent with us trying to make sure that they are ticking all the boxes and do the job they need to do to get a fair case with the OWGR,” McDowell added. “The guys that sit on that board, obviously there’s a huge amount of confliction on that board.
“The longer this goes on, we have a huge amount of deterioration in the current World Ranking points for the guys out here, and if that doesn’t retrospectively kind of get taken care of, by the time that we do get ranking points, our strength of field is going to be relatively much less than it needs to be.
“So we just get hurt the longer this game gets played, and it needs to be taken care of ASAP.”