By Matt Smith
Ahead of the Bangkok event in Thailand, reports are emerging that LIV Golf will be awarded Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points for the first time.

After months of tug-o-war between the new series and the more-established PGA Tour and DP World Tour (to different levels of success), the likes of major winners Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau can start putting ranking points beside their pennies once again.

It emerged on Wednesday evening that reports of a strategic alliance between LIV Golf and the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) Tour to allow its players OWGR points has been established.

This means, after much-publicised suspensions of PGA Tour members — the likes of Mickelson, DeChambeau and Koepka — who were in fear of losing playing rights at the four majors, from Augusta to the UK, can once again start getting back up the pecking order. The OWGR has still to respond.

Johnson, Reed, and Smith are three of the biggest names in recent weeks to see their names tumble in the ranks as LIV events were -— thus far — not allowed ranking points, due to failing to meet alleged and argued established rules.

Despite partnerships with the Asian Tour and massive investments, the LIV Tour was shunned by its counterparts.

Legal cases and tit-for-tat ensued but, after the impasse and a cooling of vitriol, we may have an agreement.

In a news release on Wednesday, the MENA Tour said “The alliance will boost the MENA Tour’s development programmes and immediately qualify LIV Golf for OWGR points, starting with the LIV Golf Thailand event at Stonehill this week.”

That means the likes of Reed — who dropped out of the top 50 in the world for the first time in eight years last week -— can start taking home OWGR points with his prizes.

“This is a very exciting day for the MENA Tour and our players,” MENA Tour commissioner David Spencer said in a statement. “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.”

“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,” LIV Golf president and COO Atul Khosla said in a statement. “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.”

LIV Golf has 12 of the top 50 players in its fields, making it one of the strongest in the world, including Cameron Smith, who won his second LIV event in Chicago.

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