Australian golfer Cameron Smith has labelled golf's ranking system “almost obsolete” after the Official Golf Ranking board declared LIV's 48-man league would not be awarded ranking points. Smith is one of numerous LIV players to criticise the latest move from the governing body, calling the decision "ridiculous".
Smith continues to slide down the world rankings, which could ultimately cost him a spot at the 2024 Paris Olympics. While he is in the running for LIV's season-long individual title, when he plays at Jeddah in the league's final event this week, he will not be playing for ranking points.
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As a result of his move to LIV, Smith finds himself ranked No.15 in the world, dropping from as high as No.2 following his 2022 British Open triumph. Speaking before the final regular-season event Smith slammed the board's decision to exclude LIV events from receiving ranking points.
"I think it (golf's ranking system) is almost obsolete now," Smith said. "We've got some guys out here who are playing some of the best golf in the world and they're outside the top 100, 200 in the world. It's pretty ridiculous."
Former World No.1 Dustin Johnson also took aim at golf's ranking board, claiming it is no longer satisfactory. "I feel like you can't really use the world ranking system any more," he said. "Hard to use the world ranking system if you're excluding 48 guys that are good players. The rankings are skewed."
The world's biggest tournaments such as the US Open and the Masters use the world rankings to help determine their fields, meaning LIV players will find it increasingly difficult to qualify. In handing down the decision on Tuesday, Official World Golf Rankings president Peter Dawson deemed that it "would not be fair and equitable to the 24 currently eligible tours”, to give LIV events ranking points.
“It is unfortunate that no way to include LIV Golf in the ranking could be found which would be fair and equitable to the 24 currently eligible tours and their thousands of playing members,” Dawson said. LIV Golf made its debut in June 2022 and signed several players to lucrative contracts.
However, the lack of ranking points for its players has seen stars who have signed with the league tumble out of the rankings. When LIV's inaugural season is complete, of the 12 players who at the time they signed were ranked in the top 50 in the world, only Cam Smith (No.15) and Brooks Koepka (No.18) will remain inside the top 50. While the likes of Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau and Talor Gooch are no longer in the top 100.
Cameron Smith's Olympic aspirations in jeopardy?
Smith has two wins on the LIV tour this year but as his world ranking plummets his Olympic dream is in doubt. The Aussie golfer has two chances to receive ranking points at the Australian Open and PGA in November and December and he understands the importance of the points on offer if he is to make the 2024 Olympics.
“I don’t think I have looked at the rankings but it’s something I am conscious of,” Smith recently admitted. “A lot of the other boys in LIV have slid pretty dramatically (on the rankings). I don’t know what it would take for me to make it, but it’s definitely something I am thinking about.”
If Smith is sitting outside the top 60 on June 24 next year, he won't make the cut for the Paris Games and projections from ranking specialists see Smith slipping outside by then. Smith contested the 2021 Tokyo Olympics with fellow Australian Mark Leishmann.
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