The prize money and staggering payments used to lure players to the LIV Golf Invitational Series are undoubtedly having the desired effect, with Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed among the latest to sign up. However, according to a report in The Telegraph (opens in new tab)the trade-off may be severe, with their participation in future Majors in jeopardy.
Within minutes of the first event at London’s Centurion Club getting under way, the PGA Tour announced its members taking part would be suspended. That number stands at 17 and will increase after the second event in Portland, Oregon, beginning on 30 June. However, the ongoing issue of Official World Golf Ranking Points (OWGR) is also likely to count against players where it comes to Majors.
Speaking on Fox News’ One Nation with Brian Kilmeade on Saturday night, LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman revealed an application for LIV Series events to count towards OWGR points would be submitted imminently. In the meantime, though, it leaves big question marks over the futures of its players in the game’s biggest events.
Sky Sports analyst Paul McGinley is one figure who has drawn attention to the potential issue. He told The Telegraph: “What is clear at the moment, with LIV Golf being 54-hole events and not offering any world ranking points, is that the guys who are top-50 in the world are slowly going to lose their ranking and fall outside the top 50 and that’s what gets most of these big names in the Majors.”
“The only guys who will probably be eligible by the time next year comes around at the Masters in April could well be past champions, under the current criteria, because the others may all have fallen out of the top 50. It will be interesting to see what is going to happen, as there are so many things and scenarios that can play out.”
The report also points out that even though past champions are usually eligible for The Masters, it is invitational. Therefore, it is possible that former winners now competing in the LIV Golf Series, including three-time Masters champion Mickelson, 2021 winner Johnson and 2018 victor Reed, could be frozen out of the Augusta National Major in the future.
Meanwhile, there are ongoing doubts as to whether affected LIV Golf players will be eligible to participate in the Ryder Cup. The actions of the DP World Tour will be pivotal in answering that question. The organization is due to clarify its stance on the Series on Thursday, with Golf Monthly understanding that it is in advanced negotiations with the PGA Tour to combat the LIV Golf threat.