Chief Operating Officer of LIV Golf Atul Khosla announced today a strategic alliance between LIV Golf and the Middle East and North Africa Tour which will mean that LIV golfers will start to earn Official Golf World Ranking points from this week at their event in Bangkok.
The MENA Tour, established in 2011, is a developmental tour which has 54 hole events and acts as a pathway for players to join the Asian Tour. Since 2016 its tournaments have been recognised for official world ranking points.
Atul Khosla said “we are taking this mutually beneficial action to support the game at the developmental level. Because of the i portance and fairness of LIV golfers qualifying for world ranking points we are pleased to create pathways whichgive more opportunities for young players and give players rankings to include all the best golfers”.
Well, that’s an odd way round it. Very few of the current crop of LIV golfers can be called young players. The stand out exception being 19 year old Shergo Kurdi, whose career I have followed since he was a junior player in Surrey. Shergo is a perfect fit for LIV, as his father is from Jordan and Shergo has represented his country internationally. So unless this reasoning is to include new signings straight out of American colleges, it hardly fits those golfers who have gladly joined LIV in the twilight of their careers. I know there’s more than one way to skin a cat, bit this seems an odd alliance to get their top players back into the OWGR scheme.
The implications are huge. Eligibility for all the top events and majors, Presidents and Ryder Cup teams going forward if this works.
So, LIV Golf have overcome this obstacle. There are now two more problems to solve. A pending, accrimonious court case against the PGA Tour and the ongoing lack of TV exposure.
It seems that if LIV Golf can’t win by heading straight forward, they find a way round it. Not announced yet, but the likelihood of LIV Golf paying Fox Sports to show their tournaments draws ever closer. What is odd about this is that Greg Norman was let go by Fox Sports after a short USGA seasonas a commentator. But now he is paying them to show LIV golf.
Their viewing figures on You Tube have been poor, and the galleries look thin. But one thing is certain, you cannot underestimate their determination to make things happen. With bottomless pockets, and a willingness to go round obstacles and find a way to win, LIV is becoming an increasing thorn in proper golf’s side.