March 7, 2024

Garcia leads 21 LIV Golf stars heading for Macau as Norman ends dream | Golf | Sport


Sergio Garcia heads up a list of LIV Golf rebels who have decided to head to Macau to compete in the International Series tournament as they desperately try to recover ranking points. The news that some 21 stars from the Saudi Arabian circuit will play was confirmed by the Asian Tour. 

Household names including Patrick Reed, Pat Perez, and Ian Poulter will also be making the trip to participate in the competition, which is slated for March 14-17. Essentially, their intention will be to stave off the threat of potentially missing out on competing at the four majors due to their involvement in LIV.

Undoubtedly, those who decided to make the switch to the PIF-backed tour over the previous couple of years are well remunerated but the catch for these stars is that they cannot pick up ranking points in to the Gulf State. This is due to standoff between LIV and the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) chiefs, with no progress having been made on a thawing of the relations across the divide.

Initially, LIV had applied for recognition from the OWGR back in the summer of 2022 but their attempts were rebuffed in October of last year. As golf’s civil war still rumbles on in practice, the Saudi Arabian circuit then withdrew their application – leaving the 21 players who will play in Macau facing a scramble to feature in the upcoming Asian Tour event. 

Some stars, such as leading No. 3 ranked LIV rebel Jon Rahm, are safe for now when it comes to their standings in the rankings in question. Still, only three other players on the Saudi circuit currently are ranked in the top 50 – those names being Tyrrell Hatton (17), Brooks Koepka (30) and Cam Smith (50).

Speaking previously about the current situation surrounding the ranking system, LIV chief Greg Norman admitted that progress over reforms have not been forthcoming. He wrote: We have made enormous efforts to fight for you and to ensure your accomplishments are recognized within the existing ranking system.

“Unfortunately, the OWGR has shown little willingness to productively work with us,” the disgruntled Australian tycoon admitted, as he expressed his sorrow for the fans. “Golf fans deserve to see the best players in the world play in the best tournaments. That has always been our goal.”

A disappointed Norman continued: “We continue to seek meaningful communication and relationship with each of the majors to ensure that LIV golfers are fairly represented and golf fans around the world have opportunities to see the best competition possible.”

In a similar vein, LIV Golf analyst Jerry Foltz has questioned whether the current ranking system is fit for purpose, in light of the landmark changes in the golfing landscape in recent years. He warned: “I think the Majors are really close to – if not already on the verge of – becoming asterisk Majors, in my opinion.

“If they don’t do what their institutions have always guaranteed – and that is try to gather the greatest players in the world to compete for the most coveted titles – then I think as long as this political stronghold over the world rankings continues to be allowed to be the barometer by which players are entered into the Majors, I think they become a little bit lessened to the historical significance of those championships.”

Full list of LIV Golf stars playing in Macau

  • Harold Varner Ill
  • Pat Perez
  • Patrick Reed
  • Kalle Samooja
  • Anirban Lahiri
  • David Puig
  • Eugenio Chacarra
  • Sergio Garcia
  • Andy Ogletree
  • Danny Lee
  • Kevin Nah
  • Caleb Suratt
  • Kieran Vincent
  • lan Poulter
  • Lucas Herbert
  • Graeme McDowell
  • Jason Kokrak
  • Carlos Ortiz
  • Mito Pererira
  • Sebastian Munoz
  • Hudson Swafford



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