Greg Norman calls on players to earn points from LIV golf event

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With the U.S. Open over, the golf world may once again be focusing its attention on the LIV series, as its second event — and the first stateside — will be played in less than two weeks. Kick off in time.

LIV Golf is already promoting Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed, who will join in Portland, Ore., and other big names are expected to exit the PGA Tour before the start of the tournament. But another struggle is going on behind the scenes, with LIV executives working to qualify their games for Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points.

The effort became more public over the weekend, when LIV Golf Investments CEO Greg Norman appeared on Fox News, pointing out that PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monaghan is a member of OWGR’s eight-member governing board. Monahan, who has indefinitely suspended PGA Tour players who have signed with LIV Golf, vigorously defended the decision last week, saying on CBS that such players would not be allowed to “free ride” from his organization.

“It will be interesting to see if Jay Monaghan sidesteps that vote because of what he said on TV [CBS’s] Jim Nantz the other day,” Norman said Saturday on Fox News. “So it was fun, and it’s a shame to put extra pressure on it because our tour was a good tour. It’s supported and it has an incredible field.

“OWGR points should be awarded and if we get OWGR points then everything else will take care of itself.”

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This is a crucial question for the Saudi-funded start-up, as world rankings are a major factor in determining the qualifications of the four majors. Without OWGR accreditation, players focusing on the 8 LIV events rather than the other tracks would slide down the rankings, potentially undermining the appeal of the series’ huge bonuses and signing bonuses.

“We’re actually applying for OWGR points right now,” Norman said, adding that it was a “very high profile” application. “We worked very, very closely with the technical committee to understand all the components you need to apply for it.”

While the star power assembled by LIV Golf, including Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia, has undoubtedly caught the attention of OWGR officials, other hurdles remain. LIV’s deliberately unorthodox approach included a 54-hole tournament with just 48 players and no cuts. These changes to the standard professional golf format could make it difficult for the OWGR Board to determine the weighting to be given to LIV events.

Perhaps the biggest problem facing LIV Golf, though, is OWGR’s decision makers, all of whom are closely tied to the existing structure of Premier Golf, some of whom have expressed dissatisfaction with the Saudi-backed joint venture. In addition to Monaghan, other members of the council include USGA CEO Mike Wann, PGA CEO Seth Waugh, and PGA Tour official Keith Waugh Keith Paley, CEO of the DP World Tour (formerly the PGA European Tour).

The USGA allows LIV golfers who have been suspended from the PGA Tour but have qualified for the U.S. Open. But Wann said recently that the situation is fluid and he can “envision a day” when players suspended from the PGA Tour may find it harder to get into the main field.

“What are we talking about [LIV Golf] Two years ago was different, two months ago was different from today,” the USGA CEO told reporters at a pre-game media conference. “We’ve been doing this for 127 years, so I think [the USGA] Need to see where these things go in the long run. “

“I’m saddened by what happened in the professional game,” Wan added. “Mainly as a fan because I love watching the best players in the world get together and play and this is going to break that. I hear it’s good for the game. At least from my outside point of view right now, This looks like a good thing for some people who play games, but I’m struggling with how this is good for the game.”

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Waugh echoed those remarks last month, when he said his organization is “a fan of the current ecosystem and the world golf ranking system, and all the other things that create golf’s best venues.” When asked if LIV golfers have When potentially included in the 2023 PGA Championship field, he replied: “I don’t know what next year will be like. We don’t think it’s good for the game.”

In comments to Fox News, Norman said his belief that “golf is a force for good” made him happy to work with Saudi regime columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

“For me, if golf is good for the world, then golf is good for Saudi Arabia [Arabia],” he said, “you see this growth internally. This is very impressive. “

The two-time British Open champion and former world number one watched a clip of Turner Sports’ Bob Costas recently on CNN announcing that LIV golfers were taking “Saudi blood money.”

“Listen, honestly, I’m disappointed that people are going this route,” Norman said on Fox News. “If they want to look at it that way, then why does the PGA Tour have 23 sponsors doing more than $4 billion worth of business with Saudi Arabia? Why can the sponsors?”

“Will Jay Monahan go to every CEO of the 23 companies investing in Saudi Arabia,” Norman continued, “and pause them and prohibit them?

“The hypocrisy of all this, so loud and deafening.”

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