Representatives of the four major championships in men’s golf will decide whether LIV Golf League players will receive world-ranking points, after PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan and DP World Tour CEO Keith Pelley recused themselves from the Official World Golf Ranking board that is considering the matter.
Pelley told The Telegraph of London on Monday that he and Monahan had recused themselves from a board meeting in December in which LIV Golf’s application for OWGR recognition was discussed and won’t be part of the decision making in the future.
A PGA Tour official confirmed to ESPN on Monday that Monahan had recused himself from the matter.
Pelley told The Telegraph that representatives of Augusta National Golf Club, PGA of America, R&A and USGA will ultimately decide whether golfers receive world-ranking points for competing in LIV Golf events.
“I have not looked at the LIV application, and I’ve not given my opinions on an application I’ve not seen,” Pelley told The Telegraph. “So, as far as LIV goes, we are not involved in it and have no influence or say in what transpires.”
LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman had suggested in the past that Monahan and Pelley should recuse themselves from considering the application because their circuits are involved in ongoing litigation with LIV Golf.
LIV Golf and three of its players are plaintiffs in a federal antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour, in which LIV Golf accused the Tour of using its monopoly power to squash competition and discouraged vendors and media companies from working with LIV Golf. It also accused the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, the governing bodies of the majors and others of conspiring to prevent LIV Golf players from earning world-ranking points.
The PGA Tour countersued LIV Golf, alleging it interfered with its contracts with players.
LIV Golf applied for OWGR recognition in July. LIV Golf players weren’t awarded points for competing in the new circuit’s tournaments in 2022, causing many of them to plummet in the world rankings.
Two-time major champion Dustin Johnson, who was LIV Golf’s first individual champion and captain of its team champion, was No. 3 in the world at the start of 2022 but has fallen to 44th. Bryson DeChambeau, the 2020 U.S. Open champion, has dropped from fifth to 88th in the same time period.