The upstart LIV Golf Invitational Collection undeniably has been making a head of steam, incorporating new players (many with significant-championship credentials), generating publicity and, seemingly, attaining traction in its bid for legitimacy.
But as gold rains down on the pick couple of who populate the LIV Golf roster, a cloud of uncertainty proceeds to hover over the fledgling enterprise run by Greg Norman and lavishly underwritten by the Saudi Arabia’s General public Expenditure Fund, and it could dampen its prospective clients for upcoming viability for many years. For all the billions at its disposal, LIV Golfing can not purchase the most elemental—and necessary—authentication in men’s specialist golf.
Without being in a position to provide Formal Earth Golf Ranking details, the LIV Golf Collection will remain a relative outlier on the world-wide golfing stage, 1 that can offer its players a future of financial prosperity in exchange for, at 1st glance, what would surface to be dwindling chances in the game’s major activities. Not incredibly, then, the upstart circuit sent an software on July 6 for accreditation to the OWGR board, submitted by means of sponsorship from the Asian Tour. Peter Dawson, OWGR chairman, acknowledged obtaining it immediately after the board achieved for the duration of the Open Championship at St. Andrews, stating “an examination of the software will commence.”
Even so, it would look in its current variety, LIV Golf does not have the required organizational components to be accredited. Golfing Digest has obtained information that identifies numerous parameters that will need to be achieved for approval, many of which LIV Golf would seem to drop short on if its application to the OWGR reflects its latest procedures and governance. The subsequent compulsory components would seem to be lacking:
1. An embrace of inclusion and marketing non-discriminatory techniques.
2. Competitions contested more than 72 holes, besides for developmental tours (like the Abema Television Tour, the Alps Golf Tour, or the EuroPro Tour, between others), which are permitted to be 54-hole situations.
3. An open up yearly qualifying university held before the commence of each individual time.
4. A discipline measurement on common of 75 gamers over the system of a period.
5. A 36-hole cut, whether participating in 54 or 72 holes.
6. A crystal clear option to progress to a entire member tour, that is, to one of the 6 customers of the Intercontinental Federation of PGA Excursions.
7. Affordable entry for local and regional gamers (i.e. Monday qualifiers) at every single of its tournaments.
Furthermore, LIV Golfing does not meet up with the necessity of a 10-celebration bare minimum plan, even though it should really up coming year with its plan for 14 tournaments. This little bit of limited-sightedness at its outset is significant because a future tour have to adhere to the OWGR pointers for at least one 12 months quickly prior to inclusion. So even if it somehow ended up to be quick-tracked for acceptance, OWGR tips counsel the earliest date that details could be distributed would not start off until 2024.
Routinely, the process for OWGR acceptance can take upwards of one to two several years. The software is first reviewed by the 10-individual OWGR technical committee, which would do the job with the applicant to solve details of contention. Then consideration is taken up by the 7-member governing board that is comprised of associates from the four significant championships, the PGA Tour, the DP Earth Tour and a consultant of the Federation Tours (Asian Tour, Australasian Tour, Japan Golf Tour, Sunshine Tour). Norman has spoken out suggesting that reps from the PGA Tour, DP Globe Tour and other businesses represented on the board that have voiced reservations about LIV Golf must recuse them selves from voting.
LIV Golfing does meet—or it is assumed it will meet—some of the prerequisites, together with actively playing by the Procedures of Golf, providing an normal least purse of $30,000 (yeah, it is obtained that coated), possessing a players’ committee as very well as tournament eligibility conditions, and fulfilling many administrative necessities this kind of as well timed reporting of precise participant info.
LIV Golfing officials could effectively answer to its listing of shortcomings by citing a couple of exceptions that exist in the PGA Tour program. The PGA Tour levels 5 no-slash tournaments, two of which—the Sentry Match of Champions and the Tour Championship—fall considerably small of 75 gamers. But the tour has 37 comprehensive-discipline tournaments with a reduce, and these tournaments feed into the no-cut occasions.
Then there is the 20-participant Hero Planet Problem, hosted by Tiger Woods, which also awards OWGR factors, but did not do so until finally it modified its field eligibility technique.
The truth that these exceptions are 1-offs or implement to a tour that satisfies all other conditions in no way translates to an endorsement of LIV Golf, which in its entirety would be requesting certification with all of these exceptions.
A couple of the bullet details previously mentioned involve more explanation.
It is really murky regardless of whether LIV Golf can be regarded as as an entity that promotes non-discriminatory practices—which is the very to start with product on the OWGR requirements checklist. Its collection may possibly embrace the philosophy, but it is protected to say that Saudi Arabia, the resource of its funding, does not. LIV Golf’s “relegation plan” seemingly is meant to remedy the third item, a qualifying process. But it is barely an open up method when some players are exempt from the approach. Position No. 6 is a true stickler, also, for the reason that the Asian Tour is the sponsor of LIV Golf for OWGR, the de facto senior lover in their romance. And nonetheless, LIV Golfing doesn’t feed into the Asian Tour it is set up precisely opposite.
LIV Golf gamers have talked about the chance they may well seek out to supplement their World Position points by actively playing Asian Tour events, but the strategy has substantially less benefit now that a reconfiguration of the OWGR points distribution metric kicks in starting off with next week’s FedEx St. Jude Championship. The new method, which has been quite a few years in the making, no extended will award the minimum amount initially-put details to tournaments with weak fields every single function stands on its possess. Consequently, the Asian Tour’s bare minimum of 14 points for the winner disappears, and its functions won’t be as worthwhile on the OWGR scale. The addition of LIV players who are plummeting down the rankings in the course of a drawn-out software procedure will not boost discipline energy appreciably—a vicious spiral of diminishing returns.
Should LIV Golfing make the needed alterations, what would adhere to is a probation period of at least a few decades, according to OWGR treatments. And in that time, LIV Golfing could not revert to its primary scheme once acknowledged or it would eliminate OWGR accreditation.
The base line is that LIV Golf will have to alter its organizational design substantially if it hopes to get the very good housekeeping seal of approval of OWGR inclusion. Can it exist without the need of the OWGR? Access to an believed $620 billion war upper body implies that it can. But what would be the issue? With its July 6 application, LIV Golf already has supplied the solution.