The letter, dated September 16 and shared by LIV Golf on Tuesday, contained electronic signatures from every player in the field on Rich Harvest Farms where British Open champion Cameron Smith won in his second start on the lucrative circuit.
LIV Golf, which launched in June and has held five events to date, applied in July for recognition in the world rankings of golf – which plays a key role in the decision to compete in golf’s four majors – and their file is still under review.
According to the players’ letter, each week that passes without the participation of LIV Golf athletes undermines “the historical value” of the world rankings.
“In order to maintain confidence, we urge you – as one of the sport’s true statesmen – to act appropriately to retroactively include the results of LIV Golf events in OWGR’s ranking calculations,” the players wrote. “An OWGR without LIV would be incomplete and inaccurate.”
The letter was shared by LIV Golf four days after a Sports Illustrated report quoted a source close to the situation as saying that officials of the upstart circuit felt they were being “played slow” by the OWGR.
According to the OWGR website, the ranking points breakdown is derived from each tournament’s overall field ranking and points are awarded to players who make the cut and complete an event, depending on their finishing position in the tournament.
LIV Golf’s 54-hole events have no cut.
The organizers of golf’s four majors have not changed their qualifying rules, but players who have been exempted from the blue-riband events due to past results may one day be left out as they will no longer be earning points in the world rankings for the time being.
“We call on you to make a positive decision quickly – in the interest of the integrity of the rankings, the game and all of us who love the sport,” the players said.
“After all, the fans deserve a ranking that is inclusive and accurate. Failure to include 48 of the world’s best golfers would mean denying the fans what they deserve.”
LIV Golf, which had 12 major champions in the field last weekend, has lured some of the game’s biggest names away from the PGA Tour with the promise of guaranteed, big-money payouts and an abbreviated schedule.
Critics say LIV Golf, which is funded by the Saudi public investment fund, amounts to blatant “sportswashing” by a nation seeking to improve its reputation in the face of its history of human rights abuses.