The breakaway LIV Tour plans to use a board meeting at the golf’s traditional home on Wednesday to demand its official recognition in the world rankings, a move some will see as provocative and sure to heighten tensions in the ongoing civil war sport.
The Rebel Tour’s latest attempt to gain a foothold in the sport will come at a meeting of the Official World Golf Rankings Board on the eve of the 150th Open Championship in St Andrews, where the series’ official claim backed by Saudi Arabia to win the world-ranking status will be at the top of the agenda.
Representatives from all four major championships, as well as the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour, are among those who must decide whether the LIV program led by Greg Norman can fall under the official ranking of world golf. As it currently stands, golfers do not collect World Ranking Points in LIV events. Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka are among the high profile players who have broken away from golf’s existing ecosystem to commit to LIV.
Some of these players fear that their future ability to compete in major championships may be compromised by the inability to earn ranking points within the rebel circuit. LIV executives believe they meet various points-ranking criteria, despite the current model of 54-hole tournaments with no cuts and only 48 players on the course. There will likely be 14 LIV competitions in 2023.
LIV has now made her case for ranking recognition, no doubt knowing that a meeting was scheduled for Open Championship week. Martin Slumbers, the general manager of the R&A, Buzzy Johnson of Augusta National, Mike Whan of the United States Golf Association and Seth Waugh of the PGA of America are at the heart of the decision-making.
Oddly enough, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan and DP World Tour chief executive Keith Pelley are too. Monahan and Pelley have tightened the alliance between their organizations and fiercely oppose the LIV model; It remains to be seen whether the duo should recuse themselves from this subject.
Keith Waters, who represents the international federation of circuits, is the managing director of the European Tour group. The Official World Golf Ranking is chaired by Peter Dawson, who is Slumbers’ immediate predecessor.
The R&A chose not to invite Norman to events for former champions during this Open. Still, the ruling body’s broader stance on the LIV threat is unclear. Slumbers will likely be asked about the subject when he undertakes pre-Open media duties on Wednesday.