What Bubba Watson, Rory McIlroy and more have said about giving LIV Golfers a Major pathway
A growing number of voices are clamouring for a new qualification system to be implemented to allow LIV Golfers a path to the Majors.
However, there is understandably still a lot of pushback from the PGA and golf’s established players.
The Official World Golf Ranking denied the LIV Golf League’s application to play for world ranking points in October 2023.
This has left LIV golfers out in the wilderness when it comes to qualifying for the Majors.
Two-time Major winner Bubba Watson feels that golf needs to find a way to give LIV stars a fair shot at the Majors.
“I’ve been saying since the beginning of LIV that we shouldn’t go after world ranking points,” Watson said. “We should go after top 10, top 15 on the money list – our points list on LIV should get into majors.
“It makes it easy. These guys are so good. The top 10 this year could play against anybody. You could make a US Team, you could make a European Team, they could play with anybody, our top 10. That’s how you should get into majors.”
There haven’t been too many players willing to declare that they don’t feel LIV Golfers should be part of Majors, but Rory McIlroy felt that none of them made the grade for Europe’s Ryder Cup team.
“I certainly think Brooks deserves to be on the United States team,” McIlroy said.
“I think with how he’s played, I mean, he’s second in the U.S. standings, only played two counting events.
“I don’t know if there’s anyone else on the LIV roster who would make the team on merit and how they’re playing. But Brooks is definitely a guy who deserves I think to be on the U.S. team.
“I have different feelings about the European team and the other side and sort of how that has all transpired”, McIlroy said.
“I don’t think any of those guys should be a part of the European team.”
Even McIlroy concedes, however, that the exclusion of LIV Golfers, while technically correct, skews the standings.
“I certainly would want the best players in the world ranked accordingly,” the four-time Major champion said. “If Dustin Johnson is somehow 100th in the world, it’s not an accurate reflection of where he is in the game.
“But at the same time, you can’t make up your own rules. There’s criteria there, everyone knows what they are. If they want to pivot to meet the criteria they can.
“I’ve no problem with them getting ranking points at all, but you have to meet the criteria. If you don’t it’s harder to justify why you should have them.”
Meanwhile, the likes of Justin Thomas feel that LIV Golfers only have themselves to blame for taking a rankings hit.
“I mean, I don’t understand. It’s very obvious and written there right in front of them, they just naturally want what’s best for them. Just like the decision they made to go there,” Thomas said.
“I totally understand if I was doing the same situation, I would want it, but that doesn’t necessarily make it right.
“The governing bodies have created a system for a reason, and that’s to try and create the best system possible to determine the best players in the world.
“Now, is it going to be skewed because some of the top players aren’t in there? Yeah, but that’s their own fault.”
Former DP World Tour journeyman Richard Bland has argued that the golf fan is losing out at the end of the day.
“I don’t care what people say about LIV and who’s playing on it and why they came to LIV, they’re still some of the best players in the world.
“In my opinion, Brooks has been one of the best players in the world this year, finishing second in the Masters and winning the PGA Championship. You can’t deny that.”
“It doesn’t matter where you play your golf. The world rankings should show that – and it doesn’t. I don’t know how you get around that.
“It’s disappointing because you are just robbing the golf fan, maybe in a few years’ time, of the best players playing in the biggest tournaments. And that’s what it should be.
“It shouldn’t matter where you play your golf. The game has got to come together and go right. You know that LIV’s here to stay. So, instead of just trying to shut it out the whole time, and hurt the players, and hurt the golf industry, and hurt the golf fans. That’s just got to stop.”
While work continues to bring all the parties together many are cynical when it comes to the prospect of a suitable new world order being established that keeps everyone happy.
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