April 26, 2024

LIV Golf’s Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) hopes may well have been given a boost on Thursday, after the ranking system awarded OWGR-sanctioning to a fellow 54-hole circuit in the Clutch Pro Tour.


The Clutch Pro Tour – known as the Mizuno Next Gen Series is a development tour offering a pathway for professional golfers in England, feeding into the Challenge Tour, one level below the DP World Tour. And despite its 54-hole format, the circuit’s 36-hole cut and routes to other tours has seen it receive the green light from OWGR.


“After a 17-month-long application process, in which the Tour worked continuously toward the standards required to become an OWGR Eligible Golf Tour,” the ranking system said in a statement.


“The Clutch Pro Tour will become an OWGR Eligible Golf Tour from Week 17, week ending 28th April 2024, and its official Tier 1 tournaments, in accordance with OWGR regulations, will be eligible for inclusion in the ranking. The Clutch Pro Tour provides access to its official tournaments, conducted over 54 holes with a 36-hole cut, via its 2024 qualifying series held in the UAE and, for its 2025 season, an annual open qualifying school.


“It also provides local and regional players opportunities, culminating with a no-cut, season-ending Championship. As such, the Clutch Pro Tour is in keeping with long-standing OWGR Eligibility and Format Criteria. The Clutch Pro Tour has played a pivotal role in the United Kingdom – particularly since the closure of the EuroPro Tour. Its organization has provided the continuation of playing opportunities and pathways for players to progress to the European Challenge Tour and the DP World Tour.”


For those in charge of the LIV setup, OWGR’s decision shows their 54-hole format will not prove a hurdle if they were to re-launch a bid for ranking status. Their problem does however seem to lie with LIV events including no cut line, as well as their promotion and relegation process, with the league’s roster often coined a ‘closed shop’.


LIV Golf are yet to receive ranking recognition


Earlier this year the breakaway league revealed they had given up on their hunt for ranking points, with LIV CEO Greg Norman slamming the OWGR system in a letter to his playing membership. Per Sports Illustrated, the letter from Norman read: “We have made significant efforts to fight for you and ensure your accomplishments are recognised within the existing ranking system.


“Unfortunately, OWGR has shown little willingness to productively work with us… The rankings are structured to penalise anyone who has not played regularly on an ‘Eligible Tour’ with the field ratings disproportionately rewarding play on the PGA Tour,” Norman went on.


“This is illustrated by the fact only four players inside the top 50 are not PGA Tour players Jon Rahm (3), Tyrrell Hatton (17), Brooks Koepka (30) and Cam Smith (45) and by the precipitous decline of LIV players generally, notwithstanding extraordinary performances in LIV events.



How does the Zurich Classic work? And what is player field for PGA Tour event?

Tommy Fleetwood shows true colours with incredible caddie gesture

“Even if LIV Golf events were immediately awarded points, the OWGR system is designed such that it would be functionally impossible for you to regain positions close to the summit of the ranking, where so many of you belong.” LIV players have seen their names tumble down the world rankings since making the Saudi switch in the summer of 2022.


At this month’s Masters, just two members from the Saudi-backed series earned their spot at Augusta via their world rankings, but were two of the league’s newest signings in Tyrrell Hatton and Adrian Meronk. In total 13 LIV stars competed in the opening major of the year, five less than the year prior.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *