Norman Says LIV Series Will Ask To Be Ranked
Brookline (United States) (AFP) – The Saudi-backed LIV Golf Tour plans to formally apply for acceptance into the world ranking system, series chief Greg Norman has said.
LIV commissioner Norman told Fox News in a Saturday night TV interview that the controversial breakaway series has a “compelling case” for its tournaments to earn ranking points.
The issue of recognition of LIV Golf events by the Official World Golf Ranking System (OWGR) could be crucial to the future of the breakaway series.
If players can earn ranking points at LIV events, it becomes easier for golfers on the tour to qualify for golf’s four major tournaments.
Norman told Fox that LIV plans to submit a ratings application imminently.
“We’re actually applying for OWGR points right now. We’re actually submitting our application probably over the weekend, if not Monday,” Norman said on Fox.
“And it’s a very compelling application. We worked very, very closely with the technical committee to understand all the elements of what you need to apply.”
The emergence of LIV Golf this year has thrown the sport into turmoil, with several of the PGA Tour’s top players choosing to move on to the Saudi-funded series, which offers some of the richest scholarships in the history of the PGA Tour. golf.
The PGA Tour, however, has taken a zero-tolerance stance toward the series, with Commissioner Jay Monahan last week suspending 17 former or current Tour players for making the switch.
Monahan is one of eight members of the OWGR board of directors who will rule on LIV’s application to the grading system.
Norman told Fox he thinks Monahan should “recuse himself” from any vote on LIV’s entry, citing a TV interview the PGA Tour chief gave last week in which he defended his decision to issue suspensions.
“It’s very interesting and it’s sad, you know, to put that extra pressure on it because our tour is a good tour,” Norman said.
“He’s backed, he’s got an amazing field. Our point should be if we get the OWGR points then everything else takes care of itself.”
LIV Golf, which is funded by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, has drawn heavy criticism from human rights groups, saying the series is an attempt to burnish image of the kingdom through sport.
Prominent American broadcaster Bob Costas recently joined the chorus of critics, accusing LIV players of accepting “blood money”.
However, Norman hit back at this criticism, noting that companies sponsoring the PGA Tour regularly do business with Saudi Arabia, and noting that the tour has also allowed its members to play in a DP World Tour event hosted in the country. .
“I’m disappointed that people are going down this road, quite honestly,” he said.
“If they want to look at this through a prism, then why does the PGA Tour have 23 sponsors doing over $40 billion in business with Saudi Arabia?
“Why is this okay with the sponsors? Will Jay Monahan go to each of these CEOs of the 23 companies investing in Saudi Arabia and suspend and ban them? The hypocrisy in all of this is so loud as it is deafening.”
After making its debut in Britain last week, LIV Golf will hold its first event in the United States from June 30 to July 2 in Oregon.
© 2022 AFP