Jon Rahm takes a swing at world ranking rules after LIV Golf abandons ‘fight’ for points

Jon Rahm takes a swing at world ranking rules after LIV Golf abandons ‘fight’ for points - World - News

Title: Jon Rahm and Other Top Golfers Critique the World Ranking System Amid LIV Golf’s Exclusion

Former world No. 1 Jon Rahm expressed his disapproval of golf’s Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) system on Wednesday, following LIV Golf’s formal withdrawal from attempting to accumulate points for its players from their events. This decision was announced in a letter sent by LIV Golf commissioner and CEO Greg Norman, who had been striving to gain recognition for the Saudi-backed circuit since its rejection in October 2021.

In his letter, Norman acknowledged the extensive efforts made to ensure players’ accomplishments were recognized under the existing ranking system. However, he expressed disappointment in the OWGR’s reluctance to collaborate productively with LIV Golf. Previously, concerns over the tour’s 54-hole, no cut format led to the rejection of their application to join the Official Golf World Rankings in October 2021.

After Rahm’s criticism at the 2022 DP World Tour Championship, he further emphasized his stance against the OWGR ahead of LIV Golf’s fourth event in Hong Kong. The Spanish golfer, who currently ranks highest among LIV Golf players inside the top-50 (Tyrell Hatton, Brooks Koepka, and Cameron Smith also being included), called the ranking system “laughable” and expressed that it increasingly demonstrates inaccuracies.

The Masters, one of golf’s major championships, offers invitations to players who ranked within the top-50 in the previous year or in the week prior to the tournament. Rahm, a two-time major champion, voiced his support for Joaquin Niemann, who recently won LIV Golf’s Jeddah event and qualified for The Masters with a special invitation.

The Chilean golfer, currently ranked 76th in the world, had previously competed on the DP World Tour to earn the ranking points necessary for Masters qualification. Niemann’s success at LIV Golf came as an unexpected but well-deserved opportunity, given his exceptional performance throughout the season.

Rahm emphasized that Niemann’s recent accomplishments clearly demonstrated his standing as one of golf’s top players and criticized the ranking system for not reflecting this accurately. Viktor Hovland, currently world No. 4, also weighed in on the issue, stating that the exclusion of top players from gaining points devalues the entire ranking system.

The American duo of Xander Schauffele and Will Zalatoris echoed their support for Niemann’s invitation to The Masters. As leading figures in the golf world, they acknowledged the importance of recognizing the best players regardless of their tournament affiliations.

The evolving situation between LIV Golf and the OWGR presents an intriguing perspective on the future of professional golf rankings. The opinions from top players like Rahm, Hovland, Schauffele, and Zalatoris further emphasize the need for a more inclusive system that reflects the true caliber of golfing talent.