LIV Golf players flock to Asian Tour event in search of world ranking points

We’re less than two months away from the first men’s major championship of the year, and the race to qualify via the Official World Golf Ranking is heating up.

One way to play into the 2024 Masters field is to secure a spot inside the top 50 of the OWGR the week before the event at Augusta National, April 11-14. PGA Tour players have seven more events to earn points, while the DP World Tour has five events on its schedule before the Masters. LIV Golf players, however, are running out of time.

This week, 21 of the 54 current players in the league led by Greg Norman and backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund have entered the Asian Tour’s first International Series event of the year in Oman. The International Series consists of 10 events – funded by LIV Golf – that offer significantly less prize money than LIV events. So why play? Under the Asian Tour wing, International Series events dish out OWGR points.

LIV Golf hasn’t been granted OWGR points despite numerous attempts (remember the MENA Tour alliance?), which has caused its players to plummet in the rankings over the last two years. Patrick Reed is 100th, Bryson DeChambeau is 169th and Dustin Johnson is 238th, to name a few.

Of the 21 LIV players in the Oman field, just three are currently inside the top 100: Lucas Herbert (80), Joaquin Niemann (81) and Dean Burmester (95).

“I think I have a different mindset for this year,” said Niemann after he won LIV’s season opener in Mexico earlier this month. “It kind of hurt me a little bit not being in the majors and I think also helped me to get motivation to kind of earn my spot back into the majors.”

Both Niemann and Burmester played their way into the 2024 Open Championship at Royal Troon via their Open Qualifying Series wins at the end of 2023, but a trip down Magnolia Lane may be out of reach. LIV has three events in the next seven weeks leading up to the Masters – Jeddah (March 1-3), Hong Kong (March 8-10) and Miami (April 5-7) – which makes any sort of top-50 push for the Masters not necessarily impossible, but certainly improbable.

The U.S. Open and Open Championship feature top 60 and top 50 exemptions, respectively, and while the PGA Championship doesn’t explicitly grant exemptions based on the OWGR, special exemptions are often given to players inside the top 100 to those who aren’t qualified through a set category.

Long story short, this week’s event in Oman is just the start of what will be a busy year for LIV players not already qualified for the majors.

LIV players in International Series Oman field


Current OWGR Ranking

Lucas Herbert


Joaquin Niemann


Dean Burmester


Louis Oosthuizen


David Puig


Mito Pereira


Abraham Ancer


Anirban Lahiri


Charl Schwartzel


Matt Jones


Eugenio Chacarra


Scott Vincent


Kieran Vincent


Sebastian Munoz


Jinichiro Kozuma


Peter Uihlein


Danny Lee


Branden Grace


Matthew Wolff


Carlos Ortiz


Hudson Swafford


Story originally appeared on GolfWeek