Dustin Johnson called the move “very smart and strategic” in a press conference on Thursday while Phil Mickelson praised LIV Golf for “fighting aggressively for the players and their best interests”.
“Given the many hurdles we’ve had to face from those trying to stop (LIV), I think it’s a great way to do that as well as add a developmental tour for the Asian Tour which will be our feed-in tour in the future,” Mickelson said ahead of the fifth LIV Golf event to be held later. From this week in Bangkok, Thailand.”So I think it’s a win in all respects.”
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Tour announced on Wednesday that LIV events will now be sanctioned by the Dubai-based Development Tour, which has been recognized by the OWGR, in a bold move to finally award LIV points. The upstart circuit led by Greg Norman and backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund applied for global ranking points in July, a procession that could take up to a year.
Then OWGR announced on Thursday that LIV will not receive OWGR points for this week’s event in Bangkok or next week’s event in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
“A review of changes to the Middle East and North Africa tour is now being conducted by OWGR,” the statement stated. “Notice of these changes given by the MENA Tour is insufficient to allow the OWGR to carry out the usual necessary review prior to the LIV Golf Invitational Bangkok (October 7-9) and the LIV Golf Invitational Jeddah (October 14-16).”
Norman and the players have been adamant from the start that LIV Golf events are worth OWGR points, to the point where LIV recently wrote a letter to the OWGR chair requesting that events earn points retroactively.
“I think this is a great way to maintain its credibility, while not bringing politics into the decision-making process,” Mickelson said. “I think it’s good for all parties.”
Mickelson added that he was not worried about LIV receiving points because the strength of the field determines legality, not the organization running the event.
“I am sure that the World Golf Rankings will maintain their credibility, and will continue to award the appropriate number of points that tournaments deserve for all rounds.”