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It’s now over two years since LIV Golf staged a rather surreal first event at the Centurion Country Club near St. Albans in Hertfordshire.

Throughout this time, the Saudi-funded breakaway league has continued to lure players to Greg Norman’s start-up with lucrative contracts to play on its 14-event series. 

There’s no sign that LIV will slow down either, as it continues to operate independently from the PGA Tour despite prolonged ongoing negotiations over a deal to unite the warring factions.

The players who have ditched the PGA Tour to join LIV have only spoken positively about their experience, whether that be the team aspect of the events or the freedom of a reduced calendar.

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But one promise LIV hasn’t been able to keep to some players since its inception is that they will be able to continue picking up ranking points.

LIV ended their quest entirely for world ranking recognition this year, and as a result, many players have fallen off a cliff in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) system. 

Crucially, that is making it harder and harder for LIV players to get into majors, while some exemptions for previous major wins before joining the league are dwindling too.

These graphs via the OWGR website shows the seismic impact of playing professional golf for a long period without regular access to ranking points…

Talor Gooch

Pre-LIV world ranking: 35

Current world ranking: 689

Gooch was LIV’s individual champion in 2023 and has repeatedly stressed that he should be in the majors. But with a ranking that has plummeted below 600 and an apparent reluctance to enter major qualifying, his only hope is for the ‘Big Four’ to get together and start offering LIV players direct access to their tournaments.

Talor Gooch

Dustin Johnson

Pre-LIV world ranking: 13

Current world ranking: 411

Johnson has won over $50million in prize money alone since joining LIV. But his five-year major exemption after his Masters win in 2020 is soon up and he’s in danger of becoming irrelevant on the big stage, following a host of mediocre major showings.

Dustin Johnson

Lee Westwood

Pre-LIV world ranking: 74

Current world ranking: 1444

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When Westwood teed it up in LIV’s first event at Centurion, he all but waved goodbye to the majors. His last major start was at the 150th Open at St Andrews just weeks after. The 50-year-old is now rated in the OWGR as the 1444th best player in the world.

Lee Westwood

Joaquin Niemann

Pre-LIV world ranking: 19

Current world ranking: 98

Niemann has endeavoured to get into golf’s most prestigious events without ranking points. He will have played three of the four majors despite hovering around 100 in the world rankings. His only noticeable spike upwards since his LIV switch was his Australian Open win on the DP World Tour last November, which secured his entry into The Open.

Joaquin Niemann


The exceptions to the rule…

Brooks Koepka

Pre-LIV world ranking: 19

Current world ranking: 43

Koepka is clinging onto his position in the world’s top 50, merely from four starts in a year. As we know, Koepka saves his best stuff for the majors and he flew back up the rankings after his PGA Championship win at Oak Hill in 2023.

Brooks Koepka

Bryson DeChambeau

Pre-LIV world ranking: 29

Current world ranking: 9

Of course, you’ve got to get in them first, but strong performances in majors are everything for LIV players. DeChambeau has taken advantage of his five-year exemption for his US Open win in 2020, and remarkably, after winning his second national championship this month, now has a better ranking than when he joined the series in 2022.

You can see the world ranking trajectory of more LIV players on the OWGR website.

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Ben Parsons joined bunkered as a Content Producer in 2023 and is the man to come to for all of the latest news, across both the professional and amateur games. Formerly of The Mirror and Press Association, he is a member at Halifax Golf Club and is a long-suffering fan of both Manchester United and the Wales rugby team.

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