BROOKLINE, Mass. — LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman said the new course will apply for Official World Golf Ranking points consideration on Monday.
Norman said the LIV Golf Invitational Series has a “very compelling” application after working closely with the OWGR technical committee to understand the process.
During an interview with Fox News on Saturday night, Norman also asked if PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan, one of eight members of the OWGR’s board of governors, would refrain from voting on LIV Golf’s application.
“It will be interesting to see if Jay Monahan recuses himself from that vote because of what he said on television with [CBS Sports announcer] Jim Nantz the other day,” Norman said. “So, it’s very interesting and it’s sad to be, you know, putting that extra pressure on because our tour is a good tour. It is compatible, it has an incredible field. Our point should be that if we get the OWGR points, then everything else takes care of itself.”
During an interview with Nantz during the final round of the RBC Canadian Open on June 12, Monahan defended his position on suspending 17 players who defected from the Tour to join LIV Golf, which is being funded by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund. .
Additional PGA Tour players, including 2020 US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau and 2018 Masters winner Patrick Reed, are expected to be included in the 48-player field for the upcoming LIV Golf event. It will be the first to be played in the United States, at Pumpkin Ridge in Portland, Oregon, from June 30 to July 2.
Monahan said players who competed in future LIV Golf events without a conflicting event pitch would face the same punishment as the 17 who were suspended.
“Why do they need us so much?” the LIV Tour’s Monahan asked on CBS Sports. “Because those players have opted to sign lucrative multi-year contracts to play in a series of exhibition games against the same players over and over again. You see that compared to what we see here today and that’s why they need us so much. It’s true, pure competition.The best players in the world are here at the RBC Canadian Open, with millions of fans watching, and in this game, it’s the true, pure competition that builds the profile in the presence of the best players in the world. .
“And that’s why they need us. That’s what we do. But we’re not going to let players take advantage of our loyal members, the best players in the world.”
Other members of the OWGR Board of Governors include DP World Tour CEO Keith Pelley, USGA CEO Mike Whan, R&A CEO Martin Slumbers, PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh, Will Jones, executive director of the Augusta National Golf Club, and Keith Waters, who represents the International Federation of PGA Tours.
Players competing on LIV Golf who are not eligible to play on other tours will not earn OWGR points. The governing bodies of the four major championships use the OWGR ratings to determine exemptions for major golf events.
The USGA decided to allow LIV Golf players who had already qualified for this week’s tournament at The Country Club to remain on the course, but Whan said earlier this week that he could foresee a day when it would be more difficult for LIV Golf players do it. Players would still be eligible to enter the US Open through open qualifying.
“I could foresee one day,” Whan said. “Do I know what that day is like? No, I don’t. To be honest with you, what we’re talking about [LIV Golf] it was different two years ago, and it was different two months ago than it is today. We’ve been doing this for 127 years, so I think [the USGA] you need to take a long-term view of this and see where these things are going. So we’re not going to be a knee jerk reaction to what we do.”
Even if LIV Golf became a recognized course, it would likely receive reduced points due to its current format. LIV Golf events include 48-man, 54-hole courses; PGA Tour events consist of 72 holes and courses with up to 156 players.
During the interview on Fox News, Norman asked why the PGA Tour was so critical of LIV Golf when it also had sponsors who had done business with the Saudis.
“Look, I’m disappointed that people are going down that road, honestly,” Norman said. “If you want to look at it in prism, why does the PGA Tour have 23 sponsors doing more than $40 billion worth of business with Saudi Arabia? Why is it okay for the sponsors? Will Jay Monahan go to each and every Of those CEOs of the 23 companies that are investing in Saudi Arabia and suspending and banning them? The hypocrisy in all of this, it’s so loud. It’s deafening.”