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Louis Oosthuizen insists the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) system shows “ridiculous” bias towards the PGA Tour.
The OWGR chairman Peter Dawson has told bunkered.co.uk that his committee are “close to coming to a conclusion” with LIV Golf’s own application for ranking points.
The Saudi-backed league first applied for OWGR accreditation 15 months ago, while Oosthuizen was among the LIV players who signed a letter to former R&A chief executive Dawson last September pleading for immediate access to points in their events.
But LIV continues to be frozen out in its pursuit, with OWGR bosses stressing that a new tour’s application process usually take well over 12 months before a decision is finalised.
The scarce opportunities to rack up points outside of LIV events has caused big name players to plummet down the rankings in recent months. And there is now widespread scepticism over the accuracy of a barometer that has seen the likes of Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau fall outside the world’s top 100.
Not many, however, are as disillusioned with the OWGR system as the 2010 Open champion Oosthuizen.
The South African, who has been playing in the DP World Tour’s Dunhill Links Championship this week on a sponsors invite, is adamant that the current setup is unfairly advantageous for those competing on the LIV’s rival circuit.
“It’s not a world ranking system,” Oosthuizen told bunkered.co.uk. “You can say it’s more PGA Tour ranking than anything else.
“It’s ridiculous that, if you’re top 50 in the world on the PGA Tour and you play all those elevated events… I don’t see how you can get out of the top 50 in the world – even by playing poorly. If that’s a good system, I’m glad I’m not a part of it.
“It’s frustrating for everyone because you used to measure yourself on that and where you are. It’s not just being a LIV player. It’s being a South African player on the Sunshine Tour, being in Asia, all over the world, you’re not getting rankings now unless you’re playing PGA Tour.
“They do have the top players but it’s definitely not a fair system at the moment because you can’t tell me there’s 10 or 15 guys on LIV that aren’t in the top 50 or top 40. It’s got to be looked at.”
The OWGR board does not disclose its ranking criteria, but LIV has faced hurdles with its eligibility, partly down to a lack of a 36-hole cut and 48-man fields in their events. There are also concerns over the integrity of individual competition when the team format is such a prevalent part of the fledgling series.
Regardless of the ongoing peace agreement talks with the PGA Tour and DP World Tour, it is increasingly likely that LIV will remain an entity next year, with a 2024 schedule expected to be released imminently.
And if the enterprise is to be authorised with ranking points in the coming weeks, further questions would inevitably be raised about how they can be reasonably implemented.
“The biggest reason you want world ranking points is to play in majors,” Oosthuizen added. “If each tour gets major spots for the order of merit every year, that’s the easiest way to have the top players from every tour playing in major championships.”
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