Golf

Jon Rahm rips OWGR system after LIV Golf withdraws application for world ranking points

Jon Rahm rips OWGR system after LIV Golf withdraws application for world ranking points

Though he’s admittedly not been paying much attention, former world No. 1 Jon Rahm joined other big names in the sport in slamming the Official World Golf Rankings system Wednesday.

Rahm, who left for LIV Golf late last year, is getting ready to compete in the Saudi Arabian-backed league’s tournament in Hong Kong this weekend. LIV Golf CEO and commissioner Greg Norman told his players Tuesday that the league officially withdrew its application to the OWGR to have golfers receive world ranking points in its tournaments.

Rahm, who won the Masters last April, is one of just four LIV Golf players who is currently ranked in the top 50 in the world.

"I'm going to be honest, I didn't know they were still trying to get world ranking points. But the one thing I can say is I'm going back to what I said two years ago in the DP World Tour Championship," Rahm said Wednesday, via ESPN. "I didn't think it was a good system back then. And if anything, the more time that goes on, the more it proves to be wrong."

Though it’s not the only way, world ranking points are the standard criteria for most players to qualify for the major championships each year. The Masters, for example, invites the top-50 players in the OWGR to play at Augusta National if they haven’t qualified a different way. LIV Golf players don’t receive world ranking points for their performances in events, and wins don’t automatically qualify them for major championships the way that wins on the PGA Tour do.

Jon Rahm joined other big LIV Golfers in ripping the OWGR system Wednesday after the league withdrew its application for world ranking points. (Francois Nel/Getty Images)

That’s caused plenty of top LIV golfers to plummet in the world rankings. Brooks Koepka, for example, is at No. 30, and Bryson DeChambeau is at No. 182. Dustin Johnson, who once held the top spot in the rankings, is at No. 266 headed into Hong King.

Rahm pointed to Joaquin Niemann when making his point, too. Niemann, who is ranked No. 76 in the world, won LIV Golf’s Saudi Arabian tournament last week. He then received special invites to the Masters, the British Open and the PGA Championship, events he likely wouldn’t have qualified for otherwise.

"I'm very happy to see Joaco get invites. … While we don't have a clear path to majors through LIV yet, I think they should be taking everybody under consideration," Rahm said. "If anybody in this world doesn't think Joaco deserves to be in the top 10 or doesn't know that he's a top player in the world, I don't know what game you're watching.

"We can tell. I think anybody who watches golf can tell who the best players in the world are. Obviously I don't think the ranking is reflective of that right now to its entirety.”

While there’s been plenty of fighting in the golf world in recent years, and the partnership between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour has stalled months after their self-imposed deadline, there seems to be a new consensus among players in both leagues. The sport needs to come back together.

And, Rahm said, that responsibility isn’t on him or any other player.

"Our job shouldn't be to make the rules or impose the rules or enforce the rules. We're here to entertain," Rahm said. "It's the governing bodies' job to be doing this and be adaptable to the changing environment."

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