Carlos Ortiz


You could forgive the golf world for failing to understand the frustration felt by so many members of LIV Golf over the last two years.

The issue of World Ranking points was never really a secret. Members of the upstart league were unlikely to get them for any number of reasons, and even if they were to receive them, it would likely be a while before they arrived. Major championship eligibility is determined using the same rankings, so those who accepted bloated payouts from the upstart league were doing so with the tacit acknowledgment that their major championship futures were in doubt.

So why, exactly, were so many LIV players upset to see their World Ranking dropping?

For a while, conventional wisdom told us it had something to do with the new league’s quality of competition. Many of the best players in the world had joined, including a series of former major winners. How could the “Official World Golf Ranking” — as it is so proudly called — leave out so many people who obviously deserved to be ranked? But as time has worn on, players have let slip a different theory — one that helps to explain some of the frustration that has proliferated amongst them: they thought they were getting World Ranking points because they were told they were going to receive them.

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On this week’s Subpar, LIV signee and long-time pro Carlos Ortiz explained.

“I think it’s both [LIV told us that we were going to get World Ranking points and that we feel we have good enough golfers to get them],” Ortiz said. “They definitely said that we were going to get them, we haven’t got them. I just feel that, people have to recognize that there are good players here, and if you want to have a ranking that includes all the golf players, you have to have some [LIV] people included in that ranking.”

Yes, Ortiz said, members of the LIV establishment had shared their belief with players that all players would eventually receive points. The logic stood up to reason, so many players didn’t think much further about it. Now, though, with rankings — and major championship eligibility — slipping away, it seems that some players are beginning to sound the alarm.

“I understand that we went out of the system and it’s going to take some time to be part of the system,” Ortiz said. “But I also think that if the World Ranking were to be accurate, they would have to include all kinds of players. “

Of course, as many players point out, it is unfair that LIV’s players don’t receive points while players do receive points on fringe tours outside the realm of even the biggest golf diehards. But the question isn’t whether LIV is deserving of points, it’s about a different question: how many? The OWGR’s “waiting period” in assessing LIV is in part to understand how the league will structure its tour to allow for promotion and relegation even when many of its biggest players are under contract.

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While the powers that be at the OWGR figure that out, all players like Ortiz can do is wait. It helps that Ortiz has banked nearly $10 million during the waiting process, but in many ways, that’s the price of (at least temporarily) removing yourself from the conversation of golf history.

“I’m not saying we should have gotten them from the beginning. I know there’s certain rules,” he said. “I knew from the beginning the consequences and the setbacks that we could have had and I accept them. I just wish we could find a way that we could be part of that ecosystem where we could be ranked and we could compete freely not only in the majors but against other players.”