While some readers of The First Call believe LIV Golf has taken a step in the right direction, others write that it's a shortcut that merits little consideration
Question of the week [Oct. 10-16]: Does LIV Golf's recent strategic alliance with the MENA Tour, which has been a part of the Official World Golf Ranking since 2016, strengthen the new Saudi-backed league's argument for why it should receive world ranking points?
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I think LIV Golf players should receive the exact same number of points that MENA tournament players would get when playing with fewer than 80 players — or whatever the correct number is under established rules for a no-cut, 54-hole tournament format.
The LIV tour should absolutely not receive ranking points. How can players on this tour get points when none of its events meet the criteria? [LIV Golf commissioner] Greg Norman, of all people, should see how giving them points would diminish, not enhance, the system. Once their events meet the criteria then award the players ranking. The rules should not be changed just because he doesn't want to follow them.
No, this an obvious attempt to make an end run. Everybody knows it and LIV looks like what it really is — shortcut con artists. LIV changed the game and it now wants to change the rules to fit its game. Shame on them.
I can only laugh at this situation. In the last few days you have a LIV Golf player who makes $30,000,000 in a few months — plus his signing bonus — against a field that includes a few players that have not won in a while. Yes, there are a few who did well this year on the PGA Tour and DP World Tour. Now the silly stuff about throwing insults at the programs that gave them the ability to play golf and make a living, some better than others, but chasing a ball into a hole. How about I never gave an interview?
Hey good luck to them, I will continue to watch the real tours, not some shortened three-day member-guest on the internet.
North Haven, Connecticut
I think the alliance does strengthen LIV Golf's request, but at the same time the alliance fundamentally changes the MENA Tour and requires a review. The tour was granted OGWR points under one set of conditions and now they want points under a new set of conditions.
Considering they have not had an event in over a year, it would seem prudent to review what is being presented. Immediate gratification is what LIV seems to be shooting for with no regards for the current standards that have been in place. [LIV Golf CEO] Greg Norman would have known this and sold some of the players a fake bill of goods.
Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
Of course the LIV tour should get OWGR points. The fields are filled with some of the best players in the world. All other tours get points. OWGR should add [LIV Golf CEO] Greg Norman to its board, then retroactively calculate all events since LIV started, using the players’ original, pre-LIV rankings for strength-of-field purposes. The tour a player chose to play never excluded players from earning world ranking points and it should not today either. Where players choose to play and how they’re paid should have nothing to do about. Ask Rory McIlroy how much appearance money he was paid to play in Dubai. That tournament still awarded points.
Let’s stop the rhetoric on the "goodness" of the LIV sponsor. Sports events have been played in and sponsored by bad entities forever. Think about this year’s World Cup. Qatar is a dictatorship that used what is essentially slave labor to build all the facilities for the competition. Does that make the soccer players bad people? Do the results of the tournament not count? Of course not. How many oil companies have sponsored sports events? What damage have they done to our environment. How many have died due to pollution. Was any event not counted or any of the athletes shamed? No. Aramco, with the same owners as the LIV Tour, even sponsored the F1 race in Austin. Did the results of that race not count? Were the drivers ostracized? Come on.
This whole melee is clearly and simply the product of oligopolists, the PGA Tour and European Tour, trying to restrain free trade in golfing services and maintain control over pro golf.
The new LIV Golf alliance with the MENA Tour is a farce and a big reach to try and gain its players world ranking points. Really? The MENA Tour. You gotta do better than that. Play by the rules and then the players can earn their points just like everyone else whose tour is playing by the rules.
The MENA Tour is of no significance whatsoever. OWGR leadership must soon deal with the reality — "elevated" big money events for the established stars of the game. This includes the Hero World Challenge, LIV events and the Zozo Championship in Japan. Small fields, no cuts and big money. What are these events worth in terms of OWGR points? Certainly elevated in terms of money, but greatly diminished in terms of a true, open competition. As every day passes, the majors appear to me to be more elevated in terms of prestige and significance.
This is in response to a comment from Reid Farrill, of Toronto, Ontario (LIV Golf: The cases for and against receiving world ranking points), who wrote: "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."
My response is that, regardless, the Hero World Challenge does get OWGR points right now. The Hero World Challenge has 18 golfers and no cut. LIV Golf should have some OWGR points based on the Hero World Challenge getting points. One could argue: LIV with 48 golfers could get three times the OWGR points that the Hero World Challenge receives based on the number of participating golfers.
I generally look at greens in regulation and putts (The stats that really make a difference). However, these guys are so good they can hit 3/4 fairways in a round and still shoot 64-65. It’s generally putts that determine who walks away with the trophy. If a player is 1.46-1.51 [putts per hole] you usually see their names in the top 10 for certain.
The Villages, Florida
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