Asian Tour LIV Golf

Open Championship 2022: Asian Tour offers LIV Golf players opportunity to earn ranking points

By Matt Smith

The Asian Tour has opened the door for LIV Golf Invitational Series players to earn Official World Golf Ranking points by competing in its tournaments, as the saga involving the Saudi-backed money-spinning series and the PGA Tour and DP World Tour rolls on.

LIV Golf officially applied for OWGR accreditation earlier this week and chairman Peter Dawson wrote: “Examination of the application will now commence.

Although LIV players have been banned by the PGA and DP World Tours, they remain eligible, currently, to compete in the major championships. However, should the OWGR not grant LIV Golf accreditation, most of its players would eventually be unable to compete in the sport’s four big events.

Now the Asian Tour has offered an opportunity for players such as Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Paul Casey and Patrick Reed — all of whom are currently competing at the 150th Open Championship in St Andrews — to continue to rack up OWGR points by competing on its ever-expanding calendar of events in the Far East and beyond.

The Asian Tour has already received a major cash injection from Golf Saudi and the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund, paving the way for a new international series of tournaments and the adoption of the former DP World Tour Saudi International competition which carries a $5 million prize purse.

Asian Tour CEO Cho Minn Thant told Reuters that LIV Golf will contribute $400 million to the Asian Tour, which will underwrite the international series and drive up purses from, in some cases, $750,000 to $1.5 million or $2 million. But the ranking points could be key in attracting the big LIV Golf names as they look for avenues to preserve their presence at the game’s for majors.

“They’ve certainly got a place to play on the Asian Tour, the international series in particular,” Cho told Reuters. “Now that they have temporarily left the PGA Tour they’ll be looking to play more events on the Asian Tour to keep their rankings up.

“I foresee a lot of them coming together as a group to play multiple Asian Tour events because power in numbers, the more players inside the top 100 that come to play the higher the strength of field.”

With just eight tournaments on the LIV schedule this season and massive purses up to $40 million at each event, players will have plenty of money and time.

What the LIV Series cannot offer yet are ranking points, the currency that allows entry into the Masters, British Open, U.S. Open and PGA Championship.

“Anything we sanction and counts on our order of merit gets world ranking points,” explained Cho. “So any of international series events we do with LIV sanctioned by the Asian Tour carries world ranking points.

“A lot of players have identified the window between November and January and that is perfect for us it is either the very end of our season or the start.

“It suddenly makes us a lot more attractive to sponsors.

“My job is to look after the members of the Asian Tour and we’ve done what’s right.”

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