Phil Mickelson has entered the debate surrounding perceived flaws in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR), and claims it has lost its credibility.
The LIV Golf player made the comments in a wide-ranging interview with Sports Illustrated (opens in new tab). He said: ”There will probably be another ranking system that is a more credible system as it includes all golfers in the world. This one has lost any credibility. I wouldn’t be surprised if tournaments stopped using it as a criteria for qualifying. “
Mickelson also explained that, in his opinion, the current system is more damaging to Majors than the players. He said: “I think it is ultimately hurting the tournaments more than the players. If you’re a Major championship and you’re using it as a qualifying factor and you’re taking a system that is not getting all the best players in the field, it hurts the tournament more. That’s why you might see tournaments go away from it as qualifying criteria. Or have a new ranking system.”
Mickelson’s opinion aligns with that of renowned coach Peter Kostis, who last week called for the Majors to drop the OWGR as a qualifier. He wrote on Twitter: “The 4 Majors need to drop OWGR as a qualifier for their events. Each event should be able to have whatever qualification categories or special invites they want. At that point world rankings become meaningless and would go away.” Those comments followed a call from former pro Mike Clayton to scrap the world rankings amid controversy over their legitimacy since changes were introduced to the system last year.
While there are concerns that the changes to the OWGR heavily favour PGA Tour events, making it harder for non-PGA Tour players to enter the top 50, where Mickelson is concerned, another point of controversy is likely to have prompted his view. LIV Golf is currently unable to offer its players world ranking points meaning their rankings are falling despite the Greg Norman-fronted organisation having some of the world’s best players. That will have an increasingly profound effect on the ability of its players to qualify for Majors the longer the impasse remains unresolved.
Mickelson is unaffected for the time being and qualifies for all four Majors in 2023. He explained that he’s targeting at least one more Major win to add to his six to date. He said: “I’m in every Major for the next three years and I think I have a chance to win one or two more and create these accomplishments that haven’t…
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