March 14, 2024

LIV Golf stars make statement after taking action over world rankings snub | Golf | Sport

Four players from LIV Golf have shown their skills in the first round of the Asian Tour International Series Macau, taking a big step towards boosting their world rankings. Mito Pereira, Pat Perez, David Puig, and Patrick Reed are all in the top five after the first round.

They’re among 21 players from LIV Golf who are playing in the event to earn points for the Official World Golf Rankings. The Saudi-funded tour isn’t recognised by these rankings yet.

Not everyone had a good first round, but the top end of the leaderboard was still dominated by LIV players who made a strong statement with their performances. Pereira scored seven birdies and only one bogey, tying for second place with a score of -6.

Even though he said he was tired, he showed off his skills and kept going. After leaving the course, he said: “To be honest, I am really tired. I am ready to go home but it’s the last push.

“I am trying to give it my best. Pretty solid today, tee to green,” he continued. “Made some good putts, some clutch putts, to keep the momentum going. Really happy with how I played overall” 

Perez did just as well as Pereira, getting seven birdies and only one bogey, which also put him in a tie for second place. He got five of his birdies on the back nine without any bogeys.

The 48-year-old credited his success to regular practice and enjoying the environment. “I have been playing good all week, the course kind of fits my eye,” he said.

“I was excited to play. You need to keep your driver in play here. It’s cool being here, it’s mini-Vegas, and I love Vegas.”

Despite their impressive performances in the International Series events, Pereira, Perez, Puig, and Reed find themselves outside the top 100 of the Official World Golf Rankings [OWGR]. This is mainly because they can’t earn ranking points from LIV Golf events.

After much thought, the OWGR turned down LIV Golf’s request for world ranking points in October last year. The rankings body had worries about LIV Golf’s format, shotgun start rules, and team elements.

“We are not at war with them,” Peter Dawson, chairman of the OWGR board, said. “This decision not to make them eligible is not political. It is entirely technical.

“LIV players are self-evidently good enough to be ranked,” he continued. They’re just not playing in a format where they can be ranked fairly with the other 24 tours and thousands of players trying to compete on them.” 

As a result, LIV officially pulled its application, first put in in July 2022. Commissioner Greg Norman expressed disappointment in a letter, saying that the OWGR showed little interest in working together with the Saudi-backed league.

Despite the league’s decision, 21 of LIV’s top players, including Reed and Perez, are taking part in the International Series tournament in Macau. They’re hoping to earn ranking points that will allow them to compete in major tournaments.


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