Jon Rahm blesses that LIV 'passes' ranking

The CEO of LIV, Greg Norman, sent a letter to the Arab League members informing them that the circuit rejects their tournaments from obtaining OWGR points.

by Andrea Gussoni
Jon Rahm blesses that LIV 'passes' ranking
© Michael Reaves / Getty Images Sport

LIV Golf has decided to temporarily abandon its attempt to validate the Super League in the eyes of the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR), and Basque golfer Jon Rahm, one of the circuit's top stars, agrees with this decision.

Rahm spoke on Wednesday at the Hong Kong Golf Club, where the fourth LIV Golf event will take place this Friday. The CEO of LIV, Greg Norman, sent a letter to the Arab League members informing them that the circuit rejects their tournaments from obtaining OWGR points.

The World Ranking determines exemptions for major tournaments. "We have made significant efforts to advocate for you and ensure that your achievements are recognized within the existing ranking system," Norman wrote in his letter, as reported by several media outlets.

"Unfortunately, the OWGR has shown little willingness to work productively with us," added the 'Great White Shark.' Asked about this decision, Rahm told reporters in Hong Kong that "I haven't spoken to anyone about this or seen any response (to Norman's letter), but I'll be honest, I didn't know they were still trying to get points for the World Ranking.

But all I can say is that I'll go back to what I said two years ago at the DP World Tour Championship. I didn't think it was a good system then, and if anything, the longer it goes, the more it shows I was wrong."

Jon Rahm, results

Rahm emphasized the absence of Chilean Joaquín Niemann among the top 10 in the OWGR as an example of how flawed the points system is.

Niemann has won the individual title in two of the three LIV Golf events this season, winning at Mayakoba and Jeddah. In Las Vegas, he finished tied for 30th. "If anyone in this world, for example, doesn't believe (Niemann) deserves to be in the top 10 or doesn't know he's a top player in the world, I don't know what sport you're watching," Rahm said.

"We can all say it. I think anyone who watches golf can tell who the best players in the world are, and obviously, I don't think the ranking reflects that fully right now," added the Barrika native. Bryson DeChambeau, also a member of LIV, believes that preventing players from their circuit from obtaining OWGR points is simply bad for the sport in general.

"There are many ways to look at it," DeChambeau said. "From some people's point of view, we've come here and don't deserve to have points in the ranking, for whatever reason. Is it right? I don't know. I just think what's right is best for the sport.

We should focus on having the best players in the majors, and continuing to have that around golf is only important to grow this sport and keep it as relevant as it is now and even more so in the future," he added. DeChambeau hopes there will be further discussions about OWGR eligibility.

"What I think about it is that we have to find a collective way, all governing bodies, everyone, to come together, sit down, and figure this out," he said. "Because we have to do it for the fans' sake," he concluded. The LIV Golf Hong Kong takes place from Friday to Sunday.

It features 54 players and a purse of $25 million: $20 million will be distributed among individual players and $5 million among teams. The individual winner will receive $4 million, and the winning team $3 million.

Jon Rahm Greg Norman Owgr