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LIV Golf is continuing to challenge the system.
Last week, 50 golfers signed a letter to the chairman of the Official World Golf Ranking, requesting that their results be included in the rankings, retroactively, from when the rival Saudi-backed circuit first applied for that status July 6.
“An OWGR without LIV would be incomplete and inaccurate, the equivalent of leaving the Big 10 or the SEC out of the U.S. college football ranking, or leaving Belgium, Argentina and England out of the FIFA rankings,” the letter said.
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Those petitioning the organization included two-time Masters winner Bubba Watson and 48 other golfers who participated in LIV Golf’s fifth tournament last weekend in Chicago.
According to Golf Channel, the players claimed that “the level of competition at the average LIV event is at least equal to that at the average PGA Tour event.”
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LIV Golf has 13 of the top 50 players on its tour but the addition of Cameron Smith, who was ranked No. 2 at the time, sent shockwaves through the golfing community.
“LIV Golf is showing the world that our truly global league is attracting the world’s best players and will grow the game into the future for the next generation,” LIV Golf CEO and Commissioner Greg Norman said in a statement at the time. “The best and the brightest continue to embrace the excitement and energy of LIV Golf and what we’re building — a tangible league for team golf that will connect with new audiences all over the globe.”
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The Masters since 1999 has invited the top 50 at the end of the year, while the U.S. Open and British Open also use the world ranking as a key qualifying criteria. The PGA Championship has a history of inviting the top 100, though it falls under “special invitations.”
“How can such a system possibly exclude players competing at such high levels against some of the strongest fields of the year for large purses at such high-profile events?” the letter said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.