Bryson DeChambeau pleads for changes to major-championship qualifying after LIV's OWGR rejection
Bryson DeChambeau has urged the organizers of golf’s four men's major championships to make money-list moves and create a category for his peers on LIV Golf, in the aftermath of the board of the Official World Golf Rankings denying points to the league.
On Tuesday, the OWGR board sent LIV Golf officials, including CEO Greg Norman, a rejection of their application for ranking points. The Saudi-backed league had faced questions over its “competitive integrity” for several reasons: the 54-hole, no-cut format of 48-player fields, and both the limited access for players to join LIV and limited relegation for players who underperform.
Naturally, DeChambeau disagreed with the move. But he said a pathway into golf’s four biggest championships should still be considered.
“I think at this point in time now that they're not allowing it, we would love to find another way to be integrated into the major championship system since I think we have some of the best players in the world,” DeChambeau said from LIV Golf’s event in Saudi Arabia this week. “Top 12 on the money list at the end of the year or the points list at the end of the year would be, I think, obvious for the major championships to host the best players in the world at those four events each year.”
LIV players have plummeted down the World Ranking this year. Cameron Smith, who rose to World No. 2 in 2022 after his Open Championship victory, has slid to No. 15 despite top-10s at the PGA Championship and U.S. Open. Brooks Koepka is the only other LIV player in the world’s top 50 and played for the U.S team at the Ryder Cup courtesy of winning the PGA Championship at Oak Hill in May and a T-2 at the Masters.
The number of LIV players in each of the four majors in 2023 ranged between 15 and 18, and that is set to drop in 2024. Aside from past champions of majors, the drop in the World Rankings will bring the league’s representation down. Only Smith, Koepka, Patrick Reed (No. 62), Joaquin Niemann (No. 64) and Abraham Ancer (No. 94) are within the top 100. DeChambeau has slipped to No. 132, despite winning two of the last three LIV Golf League events.
“It's honestly sad that they've done that, and people are going to say that it's sad that we came over here, but, look, this is an amazing opportunity for every one of us,” said DeChambeau, who is qualified for all four majors in 2024 thanks to his victory at the 2020 U.S. Open. “In regards to the OWGR, it is what it is.”