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Jon Rahm rips the OWGR system after LIV Golf withdraws its request for world ranking points

While he admittedly hasn’t received much attention, former world No. 1 Jon Rahm joined other big names in the sport on Wednesday in criticizing the Official World Golf Rankings system.

Rahm, who left for LIV Golf late last year, is preparing to compete in the Saudi-backed tournament in Hong Kong this weekend. LIV Golf CEO and Commissioner Greg Norman told his players Tuesday that the league has officially withdrawn its application to the OWGR to allow golfers to receive world ranking points in its tournaments.

Rahm, who won the Masters last April, is one of only four LIV Golf players currently ranked in the top 50 in the world.

“I’ll be honest, I didn’t know they were still trying to get world ranking points. But all I can say is that I go back to what I said two years ago in the DP World Tour Championship. ,” Rahm said Wednesday via ESPN. “I didn’t think it was a good system at the time. And the longer it goes on, the more it turns out to be wrong.”

While not the only way, world ranking points are the standard criteria for most players to qualify for the major championships each year. For example, the Masters invites the top 50 players in the OWGR to play at Augusta National if they have not otherwise qualified. LIV golfers do not receive world ranking points for their performance in events, and wins do not automatically qualify them for major championships the way wins on the PGA Tour do.

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Jon Rahm joined other great LIV golfers on Wednesday in cracking the OWGR system after the league withdrew its request for world ranking points.

Jon Rahm joined other great LIV golfers on Wednesday in cracking the OWGR system after the league withdrew its request for world ranking points. (Francois Nel/Getty Images)

That has caused many of the best LIV golfers to drop in the world rankings. For example, Brooks Koepka is at No. 30 and Bryson DeChambeau is at No. 182. Dustin Johnson, who once held the top spot in the rankings, is at No. 266 heading into Hong King.

Rahm also pointed to Joaquin Niemann when making his point. Niemann, number 76 in the world, won the Saudi Arabian LIV Golf tournament last week. He subsequently received special invitations to the Masters, the British Open and the PGA Championship, events for which he would otherwise likely not have qualified.

“I’m very happy to see Joaco getting invites. … While we don’t have a clear path to majors through LIV yet, I think they should take everyone into account,” Rahm said. “If anyone in this world thinks Joaco doesn’t deserve to be in the top ten, or doesn’t know he’s a top player in the world, then I don’t know what match you’re watching.

“We can see that. I think anyone who watches golf can see who the best players in the world are. Obviously I don’t think the rankings as a whole reflect that at the moment.”

While there has been a lot of fighting in the golf world in recent years and the partnership between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour has stalled months after their self-imposed deadline, there appears to be a new consensus among players in both leagues. The sport needs to come back together.

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And, Rahm said, that responsibility does not belong to him or any other player.

“Our job shouldn’t be to make the rules or impose the rules or enforce the rules. We’re here to entertain,” Rahm said. “It is the job of the governing bodies to do this and adapt to the changing environment.”

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