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Phil Mickelson claimed OWGR, the body responsible for golf’s world rankings, will “maintain their credibility” as a result of the deal between LIV Golf and the MENA Tour.

The Saudi-backed breakaway league has formed a “strategic alliance” with the developmental circuit, which has in turn adopted this week’s LIV Invitational in Bangkok as its first event in nearly three years.

Bosses claimed LIV will qualify for world ranking points “immediately” as a result of the announcement, since the MENA Tour has been OWGR-sanctioned since 2016.

Speaking ahead of this week’s event, which begins on Friday, Mickelson gave his verdict on the news.

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“I think from a player standpoint, it feels great to have everyone at LIV fighting so hard for the players and their best interests,” he said.

“I think for the World Golf Rankings, this is a great way to keep its credibility, while not bringing in politics into the decision-making process. I think it’s good for all parties.

“Given the many obstacles that we have had to face from those trying to stop it, I think it’s a great way to do this in addition to adding in a developmental tour for the Asian Tour who will be our feeding tour going forward. So I think it’s a win on all parts.”

LIV made an application to OWGR earlier this year. However, the process normally takes a year or more.

The governing body is understood to have raised concerns about the event format, including the 54-hole nature and the fact each tournament is an invitational.

The plans have also been vociferously opposed by the PGA Tour and DP World Tour.

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No fewer than 50 LIV players co-signed a letter to OWGR chief Peter Dawson urging him to grant the application – but the decision may now have been made for him thanks to the new partnership.

Mickelson also addressed claims the number of points on offer could be miniscule due to the MENA Tour’s relatively low standing in the world of golf.

“The reason I’m not concerned is that the number of points are based on the quality of the field and not the organization that’s running the tournament, and the quality of our field is remarkably strong, and I’m sure for the world golf rankings to maintain their credibility, they’ll continue to award the proper number of points that the tournaments deserve for all tours,” he said.

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