Trio take themselves back during qualifying

Greg Norman, CEO and commissioner of LIV Golf, introduced to the crowd during the team championship batting game round at the Trump National Doral Miami in the LIV Golf Invitational - LIV Golf: Trio enters the standings

Greg Norman, CEO and commissioner of LIV Golf, introduced to the crowd during the team championship batting game round at the Trump National Doral Miami in the LIV Golf Invitational – LIV Golf: Trio enters the standings

If Greg Norman is looking for a conspiracy to blame in the rejection of world ranking points for LIV Golf events, then it looks like he’ll now have to point his finger somewhere outside of the PGA and DP World Tours.

Norman strongly demanded that PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan and European tour president Keith Pelley withdraw as board members from taking part in LIV’s application to participate in the Official World Golf Rankings.

In a move that might surprise Norman, Pelley explained that the duo here on Monday, as well as Pelley’s right-hand man Keith Waters, who sits on the OGWR panel, did exactly that.

“At the last OWGR board meeting [in December] “Me, Jay Monahan and Keith Waters have withdrawn and a separate committee of four majors will now determine the application.”

“I didn’t look at the LIV app and didn’t comment on an app I didn’t see. So when it comes to LIV, we are not involved and have no influence or say over what happens.

LIV’s access to ranking points has become one of the main bones of contention for the Saudi-funded circuit since it submitted the forms last July.

In October, golfers on the LIV roster — including Open champion Cam Smith and former world number 1 Dustin Johnson, have dropped to 44th place in the eight months since jumping ship — wrote an “open letter” to OGWR president Peter Dawson. positive” and “fast” resolution.

But the process takes at least a year, and voices from OGWR insist that LIV doesn’t meet any criteria. Telegraph Sport privately reported three months ago that LIV is trying to use a loophole so that its £22m events can be scored, thereby allowing their golfers to return to the major leagues. However, OGWR refused to recognize the LIV’s merger with the MENA Tour, a low-level track based in the Middle East and Africa.

Following Pelley’s disclosure, the matter is in the hands of R&A, the US Golf Association, Augusta National and the PGA of America. An interesting note is that the major leagues do not ban LIV players and believe they can judge whether they deserve world ranking status. Tours will now have to accept his decision.

Pelley later confirmed on Monday that the trio stayed out of the process “because our relevant legal counsel suggested we do so.” It’s fair to say that Pelley has spent ample time with Tour’s lawyers lately as he prepares for his arbitration hearing in the UK next month, which will essentially determine whether Wentworth Headquarters has the authority to ban LIV players.

Among them is Lee Westwood, who was highly critical of the current state of the Tour in an interview in Abu Dhabi last week, telling Telegraph Sport “I don’t know what the Tour is anymore” and asking why it’s only in the top 20 in the world. is located. The actor was at the $9 million Abu Dhabi Championship.

Pelley responded, but was careful not to name Westwood directly.

“We had an interesting evening at our post-tournament event last night. [in Abu Dhabi] “And it was surprising that so many people came to me and said earlier that week that they were disappointed with the comments made by a player and that it was unfair to the staff.” “I didn’t realize how upset the staff were.”

Westwood plays in the Hero Desert Classic, which kicks off Thursday here at Assembly Course. World No. 1 Rory McIlroy is also on the court and may need a strong week to keep Jon Rahm from usurping him at the top of the standings.

Rahm won his fourth title in six starts at the American Express Championship in California on Sunday and moved up to World Number 3 and could retake the top spot at the Farmers Insurance Open, which starts in Torrey Pines on Wednesday.

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