LIV Golf partners with MENA Tour in bid to earn world ranking points

By Sports Desk October 05, 2022

The LIV Golf Invitational Series has announced a partnership with the little-known MENA Tour in a bid to gain recognition from the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR).

The OWGR does not currently recognise the LIV circuit, and several of the Saudi Arabia-backed tour's most high-profile players have expressed frustration at their inability to pick up ranking points.

Cameron Smith said last month that the awarding of ranking points at LIV events "would mean a lot", but some players on the rival PGA Tour have been less sympathetic.

Both Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas have said LIV players can only blame themselves if they fail to qualify for majors, but the breakaway circuit may have found a way to earn the OWGR's blessing.

The MENA Tour – a feeder circuit that operates in the Middle East and North Africa – announced the formation of a "strategic alliance" with LIV Golf on Wednesday. 

A statement from the MENA Tour said the agreement "will result in LIV Golf Invitational events becoming part of and sanctioned by the MENA Tour", which has been recognised by the OWGR since 2016.

"This is a very exciting day for the MENA Tour and our players," said commissioner David Spencer. 

"Through this alliance, our players will now have enhanced playing opportunities and stronger pathways. This is great news for the future of many young players on our tour."

LIV Golf president Atul Khosla added: "We are taking this mutually beneficial action to support the game at the developmental level and because of the importance and fairness of LIV golfers qualifying for OWGR points.

"We're pleased to create pathways that give more opportunities for young players, while also giving fans rankings that include all the world's best golfers."

However, reports have noted the OWGR is yet to ratify the move, while the ranking points awarded are likely to be minimal should LIV events continue to employ smaller 48-player fields and take place over just three rounds

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