PGA of America CEO and Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) board member Seth Waugh insists there is a healthy dialogue with LIV Golf in the breakaway circuit’s ongoing application for world ranking points.
LIV launched almost a year ago in June just outside of London but remains unrecognised by the OWGR, meaning many of its players have plummeted down the world rankings.
It continues to be a bone of contention among those on the Saudi-funded tour, with Phil Mickelson one of the OWGR’s fiercest critics. The left-hander claimed the OWGR had “lost any credibility” back in January and recently got into a heated Twitter argument with renowned analyst Colt Knost, saying “it’s their [the OWGR’s] job to rank ALL players in the world.”
Mickelson then added: “It was made clear the heads of OWGR would do everything in their power to shut LIV down by any and all means. Curious why you think LIV is the ONLY tour NOT worthy of points despite so many great players?”
Waugh, however, had a different viewpoint when asked why the board has been so stringent in sticking to its 12-month timeline given LIV Golf’s obvious staying power.
“That’s a total mischaracterization,” Waugh began. “What I’ve said and what I’ll say now is there has been healthy back and forth. It has not been acrimonious. There’s been collegial back and forth of them making an application as other tours have done. We’ve responded; they’ve responded.
“The ball, from my understanding, is in their court from our last response at this point. But it’s a natural process. There is no magic to 12 months. It’s just sort of most of these – all of these, I think, certainly since I’ve been around – have taken more time than I think was assumed early on. That’s where it is.
“This is not an us versus them. I think the OWGR, if you take a step back, the whole point is to create a level playing field, a yardstick by which to measure the game. Our job is to measure tours. Not players but tours and how they perform on those tours to come up with that yardstick.
“That’s what we’re all attempting to try to do. We’ve been, I think, very responsive to them in terms of their requests, and they’ve been responsive to us. It isn’t some battle.”
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