The Official World Golf Rating will not be awarding factors to LIV Golf occasions this yr, denying the MENA Tour’s request to right away add the Saudi-funded collection to its schedule.
The OWGR mentioned in a press release Thursday the MENA Tour didn’t give it enough discover and there wouldn’t be time to complete the assessment forward of the LIV Golf Invitational in Bangkok that begins Friday or the occasion in Saudi Arabia subsequent week.
In a transfer that signifies how shortly LIV Golf desires world rating factors for its 48-man fields, it created an alliance with the little-known MENA Tour, which hasn’t run a event of its personal since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The MENA Tour stands for Center East and North Africa and is a developmental tour that has been getting the naked minimal of world rating factors since 2016. It has 54-hole occasions with a 36-hole minimize, providing a US$75,000 purse. LIV Golf occasions have a $20 million purse for 54-hole occasions with no minimize.
The MENA Tour now could be aligned with the Asian Growth Tour, a step under the Asian Tour. LIV Golf already has invested $300 million within the Asian Tour, creating an “Worldwide Collection” that started this yr.
The OWGR mentioned it now could be reviewing “vital modifications” to the MENA Tour’s membership construction and schedule.
The MENA Tour not solely submitted LIV Golf’s subsequent two tournaments as a part of its schedule, it mentioned all LIV Golf gamers — similar to Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka — have joined the MENA Tour.
The OWGR mentioned it will wait till the assessment is full earlier than deciding whether or not to award factors to the MENA Tour’s new “Restricted Subject Tournaments.” It mentioned the MENA outlined that as “any MENA Tour-approved occasion” of fewer than 80 gamers.
In the meantime, the OWGR mentioned common MENA Tour occasions will nonetheless get factors. That will not be the case for LIV Golf this yr. After the occasions in Bangkok and Saudi Arabia, the final event is just for groups.
Bryson DeChambeau and Harold Varner III are amongst those who seem sure to fall out of the highest 50 by the top of the yr, which means they possible would haven’t any path to play within the Masters and must undergo qualifying for 2 different majors.
Not one of the majors has but to say whether or not LIV Golf has induced them to alter their standards for subsequent yr.