Why haven't LIV Golf got OWGR points yet? Report: Cheating concerns

Official World Golf Ranking officials are reportedly concerned with LIV Golf players 'cheating' in their events, per a report. 

Ben Smith's picture
Tue, 25 Jul 2023
Why haven't LIV Golf got OWGR points yet? Report: Cheating concerns

Our attentions are turning towards the 2023 Ryder Cup but in the interim we still have the small matter of what will transpire between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf

We now know, as Jon Rahm would say, there is an 'agreement to have an agreement'. 

Lord knows what that will actually look like.


In case you didn't know, there is a 31 December 2023 deadline for the organisations to finalise the deal, so you won't have to wait too long to find out. 

Whenever LIV Golf is discussed it's not too long until the subject of world ranking points is brought up. It's a tiresome subject but an important one nonetheless. 

LIV applied for Official World Golf Ranking accreditation before the 150th Open at St. Andrews last July. 

Since then: tumbleweeds and cries of collusion

R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers did have some things to say about LIV's bid in his annual news conference before the major. 

He believes many people are getting one thing wrong when it comes to this subject. 

Since the Open was played, we do have another small update. 

OWGR board members, according to Golf Digest, did meet last Tuesday where LIV was discussed. 

Interestingly, that was before LIV officials also met with Slumbers in secret

Per the report, there is an impasse over two issues:

  • The integrity of the individual amid a team contest
  • The lack of a merit-based qualifying system

LIV previously announced a relegation and promotion plan in an attempt to rectify the latter issue. 

But it appears the OWGR is concerned the system isn't entirely merit-based if players have multi-year contracts that prevent them from getting relegated. 

GD report that LIV officials also wrote to OWGR reps to ask if they believed their players were cheating. 

Reported Dave Shedloski:

"The most vexing issue relates to competitive integrity. LIV officials said any such claims are fallacious and reportedly went so far as to ask if OWGR representatives were accusing its players of cheating. LIV contends that it hasn't found a scenario where 'team play impacts individual play in a meaningful way.' And according to sources, LIV's response to that line of questioning was, 'If you've got a concern that they're gonna throw a score because of their team, you're effectively calling them cheats." 

OWGR officials also reported concern over the LIV Golf Orlando event where Sebastian Munoz admitted he played conservatively to preserve a team victory for Torque. 

He two-putted for par at the 72nd 54th hole, though if he made birdie he would have forced a playoff with Brooks Koepka

"I knew I couldn't be too aggressive," Munoz later said. 

What Martin Slumbers said at The Open

"What we're trying to work through is rankings, is trying to rank eligible tours. I think a lot of people get confused that rankings is trying to rank individual players. It’s eligible tours that are comparable, and then we rank the players within that. It is a complex problem, and it may be that the world has to change. But at the moment, that's still under work in progress and being reviewed."

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