LIV Golf partners with MENA Tour in rankings upset

In a surprise announcement, it seems LIV Golf will immediately qualify from this week for Official World Ranking Points.

A statement released today by the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) Tour seems to now see LIV Golf satisfy the vast number of clauses it needed for World Ranking points.

Dustin Johnson Johnson will be one of many former PGA Tour players to benefit from an alliance with the MENA Tour (Credit: LIV Golf)

This comes with news of a strategic alliance which will result in LIV Golf Invitational events becoming part of and sanctioned by the MENA Tour, a Dubai-based golf tour which has been recognised by the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) since 2016.

The alliance will boost the MENA Tour’s development programs and immediately qualify LIV Golf for OWGR points, starting with the LIV Golf Invitational Bangkok event at Stonehill Golf Course just north of the Thai capital this week.

Launched in 2011, the MENA Tour delivers 54-hole events primarily across the Middle East, North Africa and Asia, and currently provides a pathway for players into the Asian Tour and Asian Development Tour.

“This is a very exciting day for the MENA Tour and our players,” said David Spencer, the MENA Tour Commissioner. “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,” said Atul Khosla, the President and COO of LIV Golf.

“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.”

The COVID pandemic hit the MENA Tour hard. It was the first men’s tour to go into lockdown but through its new alliance with LIV, suddenly it’s 2022/23 season looks set to get underway in Bangkok as MENA unveils the 48-man LIV line-up as if it was its own all along.

The final field for LIV Golf Thailand, the opening event of the 2022/23 MENA Tour season, will be submitted to OWGR by the MENA Tour ahead of play commencing on Friday when the final field rating and winners’ points are expected to be confirmed. As a result of the alliance, all LIV Golf players have joined the MENA Tour.

World rankings points was one of the biggest issues for those defecting to the rogue tour, especially in terms of earning a spot in the majors, so it will be fascinating to watch the fallout from this clever move by Norman’s LIV Golf.