LIV golfers will only play for cash not world ranking points, after the Official Golf Ranking board deemed the 48-man league could not be fairly measured. The decision means Cameron Smith will continue to slide down the world rankings, which could ultimately cost him a spot at the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Smith is in the running for LIV's season-long individual title when he plays at Jeddah in the league's second-last event this week. Although the Aussie golfer could get his hands on a multi-million dollar payday if he is to win this week's tournament, there will be no ranking points to play for. As a result of his move to LIV, Smith finds himself No.15 in the world, dropping from as high as No.2 following his 2022 British Open triumph.
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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.
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 2024 Paris Games. Projections from ranking specialists see Smith slipping outside by then. Smith contested the 2021 Tokyo Olympics with fellow Australian Mark Leishmann.
Board denies LIV Golf decision was a political one
Dawson insisted the decision to not hand LIV ranking points was an "entirely technical" decision and not a political one. He stated the decision to deny LIV's request was "unanimous" but insisted they are "not at war" with the Saudi-backed league.
LIV Golf made its debut in June 2022 and signed several players to lucrative contracts. 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.
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