LIV Golf has petitioned head of Official World Golf Ranking, breakaway tour points.
The former world No. 1 is currently sixth in the world rankings.
LIV’s Cameron Smith waited until after Tour Championship to join the new league.
Justin Thomas acknowledges the motivation of LIV Golf players’ ardent pursuit of global rankings points for their competitions.
But he firmly disagrees with their position.
LIV requested in writing to the head of the Official World Golf Ranking that competitors earn points for competing in the breakaway tour’s events. The show even requests that points be retroactive to the five events that have already taken place.
“I don’t understand,” Justin Thomas said when asked about LIV’s petition at the Presidents Cup on Tuesday. “It’s very obvious and written right there in front of them. They just naturally want what’s best for them, just like the decision they made to go there.”
Justin Thomas has twice been No. 1 and is presently sixth in the world. The third-ranked LIV player, Cameron Smith, waited until after the Tour Championship to join the league financed by Saudi Arabia. Dustin Johnson has dropped all the way to number 23, and Brooks Koepka is currently in position 29.
LIV’s players will continue to fall in the World Ranking, making it harder for them to qualify for major championships if LIV cannot persuade the OWGR board to accept the series.
“Hey, if I was doing the same situation, I would want it, but that doesn’t necessarily make it right,” Thomas said. “The governing bodies have created a system for a reason, and that’s to try to create the best system possible to determine the best players in the world.
“Is it going to be skewed because some of the top players aren’t going to be in there? Yes. But that’s their own fault for making the decision they made, and they knew very, very well going into it there’s a good chance they won’t have World Ranking points, and they took that risk.
“In my opinion, that’s their own fault.”
This week, with Thomas, Billy Horschel will compete for the United States in the Presidents Cup for the first time. He concurred that until the LIV series satisfies the majority of the OWGR requirements, it should not be included in the rankings system.
“They knew when they signed that contract and took all that money what could come in the future for them,” Horschel said. “They had to weigh those decisions and what the outcome could be by going there and the things they may not get in the future. They made that decision to sign the contract and take the money.”
This week, a few of their American teammates responded in a more restrained manner.
World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler referred to the 54-hole events’ invite fields and no-cut format as “difficult” but otherwise avoided engaging in the discussion.
The decision is ultimately up to the OWGR and not based on public opinion, according to Max Homa, who will also be competing in his first Presidents Cup this week. However, he added that he would not object if LIV participants received world rankings points.
“To my eye, it seems like they should get World Ranking points,” he said. “It seems like if 48 great golfers play in tournaments, week in and week out, to my eye, (they) should get points. But there is a criteria.
“That’s how the world works.”
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