The results of the LIV Golf Adelaide event highlighted why some golfers are calling for changes to the Official World Golf Ranking system.
Despite winning the event on Sunday, securing a $4 million prize for first place, Talor Gooch saw his ranking drop two spots from No. 57 to No. 59.
LIV Golf, the controversial Saudi-backed league, applied for OWGR points in July but the process can take up to a year or more. The Gira de Golf Professional de Mexicana tour — the most recent tour approved to receive OWGR points — went through a 16-month application process before receiving points in January.
Dustin Johnson has also been on the losing end of the current situation. He was ranked 15th in the world when he went to LIV Golf and won thecircuit’s individual season title last year but now is outside the top 70 in the OWGR.
As LIV golfers wait for their turn, players are venting their frustrations that the lack of OWGR points at LIV events can hurt a player’s chances of qualifying for major championships.
“You should realize that the OWGR is not accurate, one,” Bryson DeChambeau said this week as he prepared for LIV Golf Singapore at Sentosa Golf Club.
“Two, I think that they need to come to a resolution or it will become obsolete. It’s pretty much almost obsolete as of right now. But again, if the majors and everything continue to have that as their ranking system, then they are biting it quite heavily.”
Phil Mickelson, who tied for second with Brooks Koepka behind winner Jon Rahm at the Masters, also pointed out the need for change at a news conference Wednesday in Singapore.
“It’s going to all iron itself out because if you’re one of the majors, if you’re the Masters, you’re not looking at ‘we should keep these guys out.’ You’re saying to yourself, ‘we want to have the best field, we want to have the best players, and these guys added a lot to the tournament this year at the Masters. How do we get them included?” Mickelson said.
“We have to come up with a qualifying mechanism that is inclusive, and if the World Golf Ranking isn’t going to be inclusive, then they have to find another way. Maybe they take the top five or top 10 or winners of LIV, but they’re going to have to find a way to get the best LIV players in their field if they want to have the best field in golf and be really what a major championship is about.”
Mickelson said he believes change will come one way or another.
“If the World Golf Rankings doesn’t find a way to be inclusive, then the majors will just find another way to include LIV because it’s no longer a credible way,” Mickelson said. “So it will all iron itself out for the simple reason that it’s in the best interest of everybody, especially the tournaments, the majors, to have the best players.”
–Field Level Media