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LIV Golf: The cases for and against receiving world ranking points

The league's credibility — and possible success — may rest on being awarded OWGR points. The First Call readers present strong opinions for both sides

OWGR Screen Shot

Question of the week [Sept. 26-Oct. 1]:  Should LIV Golf events be awarded Official World Golf Ranking points — why or why not?

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This, to me, has the appearance of a "Reverse Beavis and Butthead" approach.

It goes like this: I’m your enemy; I’m your enemy; no, wait, let’s be friends. Pieces are already unraveling. [LIV Golf CEO Greg] Norman got his ears boxed back in ‘94 and this will be the 2.0 version. LIV is dealing from a position of weakness and should be left alone until it implodes.

Sam Linnick
Wooster, Ohio

The LIV Golf circuit, with its subculture of miscreants, should be completely ignored at every level and aspect. It competes for nothing and therefore deserves no reverence whatsoever. The U.S. players should have their citizenship revoked. They should be forced to play all their tournaments in Saudi Arabia. The greatness of the PGA tour is:

The History 
The Continuity 
The Qualifying 
The Cut
The 72 holes
The big check for the winner

I am amazed at the physical and mental stamina of the great PGA Tour golfers. I am an improving high handicapper and one of my personal strengths is my level of fitness. That said, I find myself tiring both mentally and physically at the end of one round.

I say we should forever banish the names of Bryson DeChambeau, Bubba Watson, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and, yes, even Phil Mickelson. Patrick Reed should be the LIV Tour mascot for as long as the small band of ungrateful, anti-Americans on the turncoat tour exists.

Dan Gould
Queens, New York

If [the Official World Golf Ranking] is looking for the top guys in the world, then how do you overlook players like Cam Smith and Taylor Gooch? Not exactly a washed-up has-been. You’re either looking for the best or you’re not. LIV may need to adjust some of its criteria, which I’m sure they would do in a heartbeat. I say include them.

Paul Vicary
The Villages, Florida 

Yes, but when is someone going to come up with a formula? 

  1. There's no cut and just playing doesn't deserve points.
  2. There's only 47 other guys to beat, so the events should be one-third the value.
  3. Otherwise strength of field should be factored, too.

And don't tell me about similar events on the PGA Tour. As your mom told you, "Two wrongs don't make a right." Fix it for both.

Martin Donnelly
Elmhurst, Illinois

Sure, LIV golfers should be awarded OWGR points, but commensurate with the LIV format and ethos.  

— 54 holes vs. 72 holes, subtract 20%.
— No cut and no pressure vs. 36-hole cut pressure, subtract 20%.
— Shotgun start vs. playing against the leaders, subtract 10%.
— Team payout and less pressure vs. it’s all-on-your-back pressure, subtract 10%.
— Saying I’m playing the LIV Golf league to expand the game of golf and spend more time with family, subtract 25%.

PGA Tour win = 100 OWGR points. LIV exhibition league win = 15 OWGR points.

John Cullen
La Quinta, California

Absolutely not. The LIV Golf field is less than 1/3 the size of a normal event, so an event winner has only beaten 47 players. There is no cut, which increases a player's chance of winning. They play only three rounds, not four. There are only a handful of LIV players who can win on the PGA Tour today. 

The primary reason LIV wants OWGR points is to get into the majors. I'm OK if the majors give the LIV leading money winner an exemption into the tournament since money is the only metric that really matters to LIV players. 

Greg Norman wants to use the few exceptions for limited-field events as justification. For LIV, limited-field events are the norm, not the exception. If he wants to get OWGR points, then he needs to change the format to 72-hole events with a cut and increase the field size to at least 80 or more. 

As far as the impact that a cut has on the team format, I see nothing wrong with the cut players being allowed to continue to play as part of their team, they just can't compete for the individual purse. Besides, does anyone really care about the team format other than LIV players?

Tim Pittman 
West End, North Carolina

No. No cut, no points.

Kevin Alexander 
Victoria, British Columbia 

The easy answer is no. 

The OWGR was in place long before LIV Golf existed. It was well established and had been tweaked and adjusted to where it was fair for all concerned parties and enjoyed credibility in the golf world. It was and is a useful tool for determining who is eligible for various tournaments. 

LIV created a new model that completely ignored the rules of the OWGR and yet somehow expected the OWGR and the rest of the golf world to accommodate them because they have a handful of the world's top golfers on its roster. 

The OWGR is based on strength of field, not strength of a half dozen golfers. There are rules on size of field, number of holes played and other factors that LIV totally ignored as it designed its new product. LIV could have consulted with OWGR in the design phase, but it knew the format would not be acceptable. LIV wanted to do what it wanted to do and assumed that it could force a presence on the OWGR after signing up a few top golfers. LIV is trying to disrupt a sound and effective system and should not be allowed to do so.

John Abercrombie
Cape Girardeau, Missouri

Absolutely. The LIV Golf players are every bit as good as guys on the PGA Tour. Most all of them came from the PGA Tour and played a role in making the Tour what it is.

Bill Ramsey
Grand Haven, Michigan
Since LIV Golf presently does not meet the qualifying criteria that the OWGR organization has used for 40 years, of course not. It's that simple.  

LIV Golf, which has been around for just a few months, doesn't get to dictate terms.

Rick Nowosad
Calgary, Alberta

My answer is yes, but points should be highly discounted to address the weakness of the field, lack of a cut and the fact that events are only 54 holes. OWGR can come up with a formula in much the same way as it rates the various tour strength.

Mike Hollywood
Groveland, Florida

No world golf ranking points should be awarded to LIV golfers for playing in a three-day exhibition. LIV is a cash grab, and the players and [commissioner] Greg Norman should just acknowledge that, and continue down the road they have chosen.  

Duane Ragland
Chicago, Illinois

LIV golfers should not receive world ranking points until it either conforms to the current rules or the rules are changed to accommodate the league — which I hope the committee does not). LIV golfers knew the deal when they signed or they were misled about earning world ranking points. One or the other, they have made their bed and now they have to lay in it.  Collect the money until things change and move on. There's no denying LIV has several top world-class golfers — Dustin Johnson and Cam Smith are first to mind. They and at least 46 others chose the money. They now have to wait on the system to work itself out, if that happens.

Barry Duckworth
Knoxville, Tennessee

No points for people who went to LIV Golf. The players knew the rules. They made a choice and knew the consequences. They took the money and need to take responsibility for their actions.  Stand tough Mr. [Jay] Monahan, [the PGA Tour commissioner]. 

Mike Bruckner 
Haymarket, Virginia

Absolutely not. These are invitationals and not real golf tournaments. LIV Golf plays with shotgun starts and only 54 holes, with no cuts and limited fields. You might as well start awarding OWGR points to every country club invitational and member-guest event throughout the world. Just because they play for huge sums of money does not legitimize the quality of the event.

Mike Gosnell
Crestwood, Kentucky

If there is a formula — strength of field, holes played, course challenge, etc. — then I would expect the OWGR to be applied to LIV Golf as it applies to every other league or tournament.  Based upon the assumption that this is how they run it, I don’t know, and don’t really care about male professional golf right now.

If not, and the majors and other power brokers in OWGR decide to twist the tail, then fine.

In three to five years we will know whether the Saudis were in it for the long run and how this is all going to play out. I’m currently skimming and skipping my golf content, right over anything to do with LIV or PGA Tour.

Mark Chatfield
Houston, Texas

My answer is LIV Golf should absolutely not be awarded world golf points. The reason why is simple, those who choose to jump to the LIV league did so for the money. Let them stay with that. Why should they be allowed to benefit from the PGA and DP World tours that gave them so much? If I left one company to join another for the money, why should I expect to benefit from the company I deserted? I should not and would not.

Don Moore 
Warren, Pennsylvania

Absolutely not. Besides the obvious circus — like context and structure — of LIV Golf's meaningless exhibitions, the fact is they are bought to play and there is no merit. The greats — Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Serena Williams, Wayne Gretzky, Mark Spitz, Tom Brady, et al. — competed for titles, legacy, honor, integrity and the good of their sport. It wasn't about money.

No OWGR points for LIV.

Larry Guli
Waxhaw, North Carolina

Absolutely no. 

LIV Golf does not meet the established criteria. The events remind me of a three-day member-guest.

The International members that jumped ship to LIV took the money and thumbed their noses at International Team members at this year’s President Cup. We will never know if it would have been a closer outcome. The same can be said of the greedy American LIV members.

I was impressed that Trevor Immelman did an outstanding job of captaining his Internationals team and making it a definite event to watch to the end.  

Great job by the USA Team. Go USA!

Brian Nelson
North Haven, Connecticut

No, emphatically. There is not a full field, there is no cut, there is no qualifying opportunities, money is fully guaranteed for all participants. Can you spell "exhibition"?

To be consistent the Hero World Challenge should also not receive world ranking points. The metric for world ranking points has to be similar for all events regardless of whether its LIV Golf or the PGA Tour.

Reid Farrill
Toronto, Canada
Of course not.

There is simply no comparison between competitive PGA Tour tournament golf and exhibitions involving 48 participants played over 54 holes.

There are only 10 golfers who joined LIV Golf who are even relevant at this point.

It's very nice for them to have their guaranteed money and I don’t begrudge them that, but their days of playing in majors and representing in the established international competitions should be over.

Terry Fraser
Huntsville, Alabama

Question of the week [Sept. 19-25]: If you could only play the courses designed by one golf course architect, who would that architect be and why?

> Read additional responses

Seth Raynor. 

Why? Just look at his body of work: Fisher’s Island, Shinnecock, Greenbrier, Yeamans Hall, Waialae, The Lido, Shoreacres, Yale, Mid-Ocean. He was C.B. Macdonald’s engineer, for gosh sakes. Raynor sculpted and drained The National Golf Links and Chicago Golf Club.  

Along with Macdonald, they delivered "template holes" to the U.S. — Redan, Hogs Back, Biarritz, Lido, etc. Raynor’s courses still stand up incredibly well today (several in the Golf Digest Top 100). They’re typically right in front of you and not tricked up. He was prolific for his limited tenure in the business.

Bill Ramsey
Grand Haven, Michigan

Donald Ross. Simply the best shot values in golf.

Butch English
Lake Norman, North Carolina 

Gil Hanse.

Solid routings, high shot values, good mix of variety while keeping a core design style — multiple ways to attack the hole, risk/reward and not penal. 

Tim Nugent
Milton, Georgia 

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