LIV Golf League players have been in freefall in the Official World Golf Rankings. Owing to the inability of LIV Golf to offer its players world ranking points, the golfers have been struggling to keep their place on the table since their defection from other tours.
LIV golfers like Cameron Smith, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, and Bryson DeChambeau have all tumbled down the rankings since moving to the Saudi-backed series. Players like Phil Mickelson have fallen to new lows in their career rankings. Charles Howell III, who won last week’s LIV Golf League season opener at LIV Golf Mayakoba, also fell another 11 places to World No. 312. He has dropped a staggering 139 places since joining the rebel series last July. However, against all odds, a couple of golfers have also gained a few spots.
While players like Richard Bland and Sebastian Munoz dropped out of the OWGR’s top 100 this week, Harold Varner III climbed a couple of spots. The golfer, who started last week’s tournament at El Camaleon Golf Club as World No. 51, is currently No. 49. The American golfer managed the rare footing despite not accumulating a single world ranking point in Mexico.
The rise comes after several other names above him fell, thus making his ranking go up. Interestingly, he wasn’t the only LIV golfer to experience an unexpected boost in the rankings. LIV’s latest signing, Mito Pereira, also climbed two places from World No. 50 to No. 48 without any points change. The golfers somehow got a lift as more big names fell out of the top 100. However, that rise is temporary, and the golfers’ fall is inevitable as LIV Golf continues without ranking points.
It is pertinent to note that the fall of players like Johnson and Reed out of the top 50 likely made way for others’ rise. Varner III’s Range Goats GC teammate Talor Gooch also fell multiple places in the world rankings to settle at World No. 44 this week. The golfer will most likely be out of the top 50, along with Varner III and Pereira by next week.
However, the golfers’ jump in the rankings has pointed out that LIV players can rise in the rankings, but staying up remains the tricky part.
Mickelson hits career-low ranking after joining LIV Golf
Phil Mickelson has been struggling ever since his move to LIV Golf last year. The former World No. 2 has been in freefall in the rankings and has hit a new career low. The ace golfer has dropped all the way out of the top 300 and currently sits 318th on the table.
However, ‘Lefty’ doesn’t seem to bother much about the ranks. In a recent interview, Mickelson questioned the credibility of the ranking system, which doesn’t include LIV events.
Speaking to Sports Illustrated in an interview, Mickelson said:
“There will probably be another ranking system that is a more credible system as it includes all golfers in the world. This one has lost any credibility. I wouldn’t be surprised if tournaments stopped using it as a criteria for qualifying. I think it is ultimately hurting the tournaments more than the players.”
“If you’re a major championship and you’re using it as a qualifying factor and you’re taking a system that is not getting all the best players in the field, it hurts the tournament more. That’s why you might see tournaments go away from it as qualifying criteria. Or have a new ranking system.”
It is pertinent to note that players like Mickelson will have a few opportunities to raise their rankings in the coming months by qualifying for the majors.