Jon Rahm
Jon Rahm joined LIV Golf in December 2023 Image Credit: LIV Golf

Jon Rahm believes it isn’t the players’ job to sort out the World Ranking issues after LIV Golf withdrew its application to receive recognition from the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) board.

The breakaway circuit first applied for World Ranking points in July 2022, before the OWGR board formally rejected the application last October, citing problems with the format.

They have now ended their pursuit, with the league’s commissioner, Greg Norman, sending a letter to players informing them of the decision.

“We have made enormous efforts to fight for you and to ensure your accomplishments are recognized within the existing ranking system,” said Norman.

“Unfortunately, the OWGR has shown little willingness to productively work with us.”

With the game’s four Major Championships using World Ranking as part of their criteria, it could lead to the prospect of the some of the star names on LIV Golf, including Rahm, Talor Gooch, Bryson DeChambeau and Cameron Smith, missing out on the game’s four biggest events in years to come.

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Rahm currently has Major exemptions for winning last year's Masters Tournament Image Credit: AP

“I'm going to be honest; I didn't know they were still trying to get World Ranking points, but the one thing I can say is I'm going to back to what I said two years ago in the DP World Tour Championship,” said Rahm ahead of LIV Golf Hong Kong.

“I didn't think it was a good system back then, and if anything, the more time that goes on, the more it proves to be wrong. If anybody in this world, for example, doesn't think Joaco (Niemann) deserves to be in the top 10 or doesn't know that he's a top player in the world, I don't know what game you're watching.

“We can tell. I think anybody who watches golf can tell who the best players in the world are, and obviously I don't think the ranking is reflective of that right now to its entirety.”

That statement has been echoed by PGA Tour players, with Patrick Cantlay claiming, “it's inevitable that things need to be updated or things need to be changed,” while Matt Fitzpatrick said, “I don't think the world rankings are a true representation of the golf game at the minute.”

Despite the divisions in the game since LIV Golf launched in 2022, players seem to be unified on this issue.

After all, who truly believes that the Saudi-backed league has only four golfers - Jon Rahm (3), Tyrrell Hatton (17), Brooks Koepka (30) and Smith (50) - inside the top 50 in the World Ranking?

Dustin Johnson is currently 266th and Niemann is 76th despite three worldwide wins in the last three months. The current system is no longer fit for purpose in ranking the best golfers in the planet, no matter your thoughts on LIV Golf and its 54-hole events with no cut.

With LIV Golf admitting defeat, is it now up to the players to pressure governing bodies to sort out the issues and ensure fans see the best players compete for Major Championships?

“I haven't given it that much thought, to be honest,” said Rahm when asked at a press conference in Hong Kong.

“But our job shouldn't be to make the rules or impose the rules or enforce the rules. We're here to entertain, and it's the governing bodies' job to be doing this and be adaptable to the changing environment. That's I think the best way I can explain it.”