If golfers can’t earn Official World Golf Ranking points for their finishes in LIV Golf League events, Bryson DeChambeau wants the four major championships to alter their qualifying criteria to make them more accessible.
DeChambeau, speaking to reporters Wednesday ahead of the LIV Golf Invitational Jeddah at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club in Saudi Arabia, said the Masters, PGA Championship, U.S. Open and Open Championship should invite the top 12 finishers in the circuit’s season-long points race.
“It’s just been par for the course, unfortunately,” DeChambeau said. “I think at this point in time, now that they’re not allowing it, we would love to find another way to be integrated into the major championship system since I think we have some of the best players in the world. Top 12 on the list, the money list, at the end of the year or the points list at the end of the year, would be, I think, obvious for the major championships to host the best players in the world at those four events each year.”
On Tuesday, OWGR chairman Peter Dawson sent a letter to LIV Golf commissioner Greg Norman and COO Gary Davidson notifying them that the OWGR governing board had voted unanimously not to recognize the LIV Golf League as an eligible tour in the OWGR system.
The letter noted that the governing board had concerns about LIV Golf’s lack of turnover among its players and limited pathways for other players to join. It also cited concerns about certain aspects of the circuit’s team concept; players compete in individual and team competitions simultaneously over 54 holes.
The PGA Tour and DP World Tour have suspended players who are competing in the LIV Golf League. As a result, many of them have fallen dramatically in the world rankings. Only Cameron Smith (No. 15) and Brooks Koepka (No. 18) are ranked in the top 50; LIV Golf has six players among the top 100.
DeChambeau, who was once ranked as high as No. 4 in the world, is now No. 132, even after tying for fourth at the PGA Championship and 20th at the U.S. Open.
“It’s honestly sad that they’ve done that, and people are going to say that it’s sad that we came over here,” DeChambeau said. “But it’s like, look, this is an amazing opportunity for every one of us. I think we’ve told that narrative quite a bit, and we want to continue to change and grow the game in places like Saudi Arabia, like Singapore, like Australia, numerous places we’ve all been throughout this year, and we’re going to continue to do so over the course of time.”
Officials from Augusta National Golf Club, PGA of America, United States Golf Association and The R&A, which govern the four majors, were part of the board that rejected LIV Golf’s application for OWGR recognition.
The four majors have multiple ways for players to qualify for the events. The Masters, for instance, had 19 qualifying criteria for this year’s tournament, including the top 50 from the world rankings at the end of the previous year and the rankings published the week before the tournament.