April 1, 2023 2:14 am

BANGKOK – A deep dive into LIV Golf’s integration with MENA Tour – words nonetheless strange to say and create – suggests that the seemingly desperate try to push by means of a program to get Official Planet Golf Ranking points quickly was at least incredibly properly believed out and buttoned up

That does not imply it really should or will succeed, and the brashness of it followed by the rapid pushback from the OWGR has understandably left LIV Golf open to ridicule. The new league has lots of detractors and lots of obstacles and could do with out the negativity.

And it didn’t aid considerably when Bryson DeChambeau went down the incorrect path.

“We’ve hit each mark in their criteria, so for us not to get points is sort of crazy with possessing the top rated – at least I think we have the top rated players in the planet,’’ DeChambeau mentioned.

The truth is, LIV Golf has not hit each mark in the OWGR criteria. And to not acknowledge that even though failing to also recommend some alterations are in order only leads to the inevitable blowback.

The MENA Tour association was clearly meant to attempt and circumvent the program by imbedding in an current tour that is currently accredited. LIV Golf and MENA really checked all the boxes, completely setting up an entity that covers membership criteria, the definition of restricted-field events, a season-lengthy dollars list (it’ll appear ridiculous offered the disparity in purses) and a secondary points list that enable for MENA Tour members who are not component of LIV Golf to earn a location on the Asian Developmental Tour.

That LIV believed this really should have been reviewed and accepted in a day’s time was a robust miscalculation, and once again, opened the door for quick mockery.

And however, there is a very good bit to be admired about the “strategic alliance’’ and the thoughts behind its outcome. Provided time, possibly it operates. The commissioner of the MENA Tour, David Spencer, expressed surprise that it didn’t immediately gain approval.

“We have had different communications with OWGR considering the fact that submitting our 2022/23 schedule, MENA Tour handbook, exemption criteria and our field ahead of our opening occasion of our new season which tees off nowadays,’’ Spencer mentioned in a statement released prior to the opening of the LIV Golf Invitational Series Bangkok occasion on Friday.

“None of this communication pointed towards any technical cause for the LIV Golf Invitational Bangkok to be treated any differently to any MENA Tour occasion, each 1 of which has received OWGR considering the fact that we had been accepted into the OWGR framework in 2016.’’

Regardless of that pushback, it is just challenging to think any one anticipated the OWGR to greenlight this quest for points in such brief order.

All of which brings us to the OWGR. In no way has it endured so considerably scrutiny, particularly outdoors of the way it ranks players – a program that was not too long ago overhauled to superior reflect the strength of fields by assigning a worth to each player entered in a tournament.

Mainly because the OWGR board involves PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan and DP Planet CEO Keith Pelley – as properly as the heads of all 4 big championships – the organization has credibility challenges when it comes to taking into consideration LIV Golf’s bid.

LIV is a disrupter, a threat, a rival. Clearly the PGA Tour and DP Planet Tour want it to go away. And however the heads of these organizations are essential figures in the OWGR course of action?

Clearly the OWGR was never ever set up to take into consideration the application of a rival tour. The program is meant to maintain the PGA Tour and DP Planet Tour on top rated, as any tour that seeks planet ranking points have to be sponsored by a different tour – which in turns presents it qualifying spots. It worked completely fine ahead of LIV came along.

In the case of LIV Golf, it was sponsored by the Asian Tour. CEO Greg Norman mentioned the group’s formal application was submitted in July, and this was acknowledged by the OWGR and taken up as a matter of business enterprise in the course of the week of the British Open at St Andrews.

According to a supply, in the 3 months considering the fact that the St. Andrews meeting, the facts of LIV’s bid have not been shared with the members of the technical committee. Developing impatient, LIV Golf sought a different, quicker way to add points by means of the MENA Tour.

As for the actual OWGR recommendations, there is clearly an problem of transparency. The organization does not share them publicly, and they have leaked in different types in current months, normally with out complete context.

But there is a essential component of the recommendations – not too long ago shared with Sports Illustrated – that appears to make the complete physical exercise a farce. Soon after listing all of the different recommendations, it reads:

“The above criteria are recommendations only and the choice to approve a Tour’s admission to the OWGR program shall be at the complete discretion of the Governing Board.’’

It then add 3 essential points: A tour can be admitted with out adhering to all of the recommendations a tour can be denied even if it meets all the criteria the OWGR can amend the recommendations at any time.

That blows up the argument that LIV does not meet sufficient of the criteria. The OWGR can generally do as it pleases.

At the current Dunhill Championship, Rory McIlroy, who has been outspoken in his dislike of LIV Golf, recommended that it would be incorrect to deny players such as Dustin Johnson ranking points but that guidelines are guidelines.

“So I absolutely have no trouble with them receiving planet ranking points,’’ McIlroy mentioned. “But you have to meet the criteria. If you do not meet the criteria, it is challenging to justify why you really should have them.’’

Effectively … really, you do not have to meet all of the criteria, as the OWGR itself mentioned.

This speaking point has either been largely missed or ignored, and why LIV Golf – regardless of coming up brief in a handful of locations – believes its bid really should be accepted.

Greg Norman, LIV Golf

Greg Norman’s newest move to stress the OWGR is a partnership with the MENA Tour.

A handful of OWGR challenges to take into consideration:

* Nowhere in the recommendations does it say tournaments have to be 72 holes. The essential minimum is 54. There are seven tours with ranking points that have schedules mainly consisting of 54-hole events.

* The recommendations demand a 36-hole reduce. LIV Golf has no reduce and this is a accurate trouble for OWGR points, as it would imply each player, each week, would earn points. Uncomplicated repair: basically reduce to the top rated 24 and ties following 36 holes, let these who miss the reduce play for the group on Sunday and spend out the purse in order of finish. And possibly for a small further juice, offer you a bonus for the player who misses the reduce who shoots the low final-round score.

* The recommendations lay out that a tour requirements to have some sort of qualifying and capacity to obtain access to the events. LIV will be a closed shop in 2023 with 48 set players. LIV Golf falls back on its “Promotion Event’’ that will be staged subsequent year, as properly as assured spots from the International Series. That is not sufficient. Once again, very easily solved: hold the bottom 12 spots open from tournament to tournament. You could fill some with Monday qualifying, other folks from the International Series – which is affiliated with LIV – and possibly even LIV’s personal weekly points list.

* An typical of 75 players per occasion. LIV Golf falls far brief but has recommended its association with the International Series really should alleviate this. So also with the MENA Tour, which will have minimum 120-player fields and a 36-hole reduce in at least ten events, with as several as 14.

* The recommendations say a tour requirements to be in operation for a year. LIV Golf pushes back in two approaches on this. It suggests with established players and considerable economic backing, it has the funds and infrastructure to deem such lengthy scrutiny vital. And it points to the OWGR’s personal handbook: a tour can be admitted with out adhering to all of the recommendations.

LIV Golf is clearly brief on a handful of criteria. But the OWGR has its personal challenges as it relates to these different points. It is not an quick predicament, and absolutely not as easy as “they do not meet the criteria.’’ LIV could do superior to meet a lot more of them, but stands by its simple premise: how credible are the rankings if you are not such as higher-level skilled golfers?

Tom Kim Shines at Shriners

Only 3 tournaments following his initial profession PGA Tour win at the Wyndham Championship, Tom Kim added a second title at the Shriners Children’s Open, generating him the initial player considering the fact that Tiger Woods in 1996 to win twice ahead of turning 21.

It has been some year for Kim, who only a handful of months ago had no PGA Tour status and was competing on the Asian Tour.

In January, Kim won the Singapore International tournament. A week later, he tied for second at the Singapore Open. These outcomes helped him move into the top rated 80 in the planet. He had 3 a lot more top rated-five finishes, then got a sponsor’s invitation to the AT&ampT Byron Nelson, exactly where he tied for 17th. While Kim missed the reduce at the PGA Championship, he completed 23rd at the U.S. Open and place himself in position to earn his PGA Tour card when he completed third at the Scottish Open.

He secured his card with a seventh-location finish at the Rocket Mortgage and now he’s won twice considering the fact that then – and also became a star at the Presidents Cup.

“It’s seriously remarkable,’’ Kim mentioned following playing with and holding off Patrick Cantlay, who completed 3 shots back. “A handful of months ago, I did not have any status in the U.S., and now becoming a two-time winner on Tour, possessing that location with Tiger, it is an unbelievable feeling for me. It really is an honor for me, and it is certainly a dream come accurate.’’

Fore! Points

1. Tom Kim’s victory at the Shriners was achieved with out generating a bogey more than 72 holes. He’s the initial player to do that considering the fact that J.T. Poston at the 2019 Wyndham Championship.

two. Jon Rahm joined Seve Ballesteros as a 3-time winner of the Spanish Open.

three. Patrick Cantlay’s 60 at the Shriners Children’s Open was the second of his PGA Tour profession. The initial came in 2011 when he was an amateur and playing in the Travelers Championship.

four. The LIV Golf Invitational Series heads to Jeddah, particularly the Royal Greens Golf &amp Nation Club in King Abdullah Financial City. The identical course now hosts the Saudi International tournament which was a European Tour occasion for 3 years ahead of becoming an Asian Tour occasion in 2022. Harold Varner III won the occasion in February with a birdie-eagle finish to defeat Bubba Watson by a stroke.

The PGA Tour’s Elevated Events

It has been almost two months considering the fact that PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan announced a series of upgrades to the schedule that incorporated the addition of 4 elevated events to the eight that had been currently announced in June.

The 4 had been not named and it is receiving close to the time when the Tour will have to have to disclose these events, for a lot of causes, such as the truth that players want to program their 2023 schedules. For these who want to be component of the Player Influence Plan (PIP), playing in these events – for the initial time – is essential.

The large problem, of course, is dollars. But so is scheduling. The Tour requirements to be cautious about selecting events that are also close to the current elevated events – the Sentry Tournament of Champions, the Genesis Invitational, the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, the Memorial Tournament and the playoff events – the FedEx St. Jude, BMW Championship and Tour Championship.

Income is an problem due to the fact these 4 unnamed events will see their purses rise from the $eight million variety to $20 million. Exactly where does the further $12 million come from? That is probably component of the course of action becoming worked out now amongst the events that are interested in elevating.

It really is feasible that these tournaments will rotate, but even a 1-year commitment for an raise of that quantity can lead to havoc for title sponsors. Therefore, negotiations are taking location. The PGA Tour desires the sponsors to cover as considerably as feasible. The sponsors want the PGA Tour to cover as considerably as feasible.

As soon as that is worked out and the tournaments determined, the Tour will start the course of action of figuring out the elevated events for 2024. With a lot more time, it is feasible to see some events modify dates in order to accommodate.

Far more Scheduling Speculation

The Korn Ferry Tour announced its 2023 schedule that will consist of 26 events starting in January and ending in October. The October ending point is exciting, as it means that Korn Ferry Tour players will not be capable to compete in the fall PGA Tour events. Or at least not a month’s worth of them. The Korn Ferry Tour Championship is Oct. five-eight and the top rated 30 finishers will earn a spot on the PGA Tour for the subsequent season – which will not get started till January.

What about the PGA Tour events that continue by means of October and into November? The Korn Ferry promotion will not apply to these events, due to the fact they are a continuation of the 2023 PGA Tour season and the Korn Ferry season will identify grads into the 2024 season.

It is feasible that Korn Ferry players could get into fall events primarily based on other criteria such as previous champion status or by way of the top rated 126-to-150 category.

2023 Masters Countdown

The initial round of the Masters is in 185 days with a lot of possibilities to earn an invitation by means of the finish of this year. This week’s ZOZO Championship the fourth of nine PGA Tour events this fall that offer you an invitation with a victory for these not currently certified.

The final Official Planet Golf Ranking top rated 50 at the finish of 2022 will also get invites if not currently certified to play the initial big championship of 2023.

There are at the moment 60 players certified for the 2023 Masters. They consist of previous Masters champions, winners of previous PGA Championships, U.S. Opens and British Opens, the finalists for the U.S. Amateur, the winner of the British Amateur, the U.S. Mid Amateur these completed amongst the top rated 12 and ties at the 2022 Masters, the top rated 4 finishers at the PGA, U.S. Open and British Open, nine PGA Tour winners considering the fact that the Masters and seven who certified by generating it to the Tour Championship.

Nonetheless to be determined are the winners of the Asia Pacific Amateur and the Latin-America Amateur along with the final-year top rated 50 in the planet, PGA Tour winners and these who qualify by way of the top rated 50 two weeks prior to the Masters.

Social Matters

-Recall when Brooks and Bryson had a feud

– We will be seeing lots of images of the Coliseum in the course of the lead-up to subsequent year’s Ryder Cup.

– Tiger Woods in action.

Subsequent Up

The fourth occasion of the 2022-23 season requires location outdoors of Tokyo at the ZOZO Championship, exactly where Hideki Matsuyama is defending champion at the Accordia Golf Narashino Nation Club.

This is the fourth year of the tournament that was initially component of a 3-occasion PGA Tour Asia Swing that incorporated the CJ Cup in South Korea and the WGC HSBC Champions. The CJ Cup has been moved to South Korea and the HSBC Champions has not been played considering the fact that 2019 due to the pandemic.

Tiger Woods won the inaugural ZOZO Championship in 2019 for his 82nd PGA Tour victory.

This is a restricted-field, 78-player occasion with no reduce and an $11 million purse, with $1.980 million going to the winner.

Other notables in the field consist of Xander Schauffele, Sungjae Im, Collin Morikawa, Viktor Hovland, Cam Young and Rickie Fowler, who is in on a sponsor’s exemption.

The ZOZO’s future is in query offered the alterations to the PGA Tour schedule that will go into location in the fall of 2023, when tournaments played this time of year will no longer be component of a wraparound season.

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