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Reports: Jay Monahan recuses himself from OWGR decision on LIV

Dec 5, 2022; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan addresses the crowd during the DraftKings Sportsbook groundbreaking ceremony at the TPC Scottsdale Champions Course on Monday, Dec. 5, 2022. Mandatory Credit: Alex Gould/The Republic

Pga Sportsbook Groundbreaking At Tpc Scottsdale
Credit: Alex Gould / USA TODAY NETWORK

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan and DP World Tour CEO Keith Pelley have recused themselves from the Official World Golf Ranking board’s upcoming decision on whether to reward rankings points to LIV Golf events.

Pelley told The Telegraph of London that he, his COO Keith Waters and Monahan all told the OWGR board at its last meeting that they would sit out the LIV debate “because our respective legal counsel suggested we did.” ESPN confirmed Monday that Monahan recused himself.

Instead, the decision will come down to representatives of the four major championship organizers — Augusta National Golf Club, the PGA of America, the USGA and the R&A.

OWGR points are important to LIV defectors because they’re one of several ways the major fields are decided. Facing indefinite PGA Tour suspensions, some LIV members have taken to playing events they’re allowed to in Asia and Australia to keep their rankings afloat.

Without OWGR points, Dustin Johnson – the individual champion of the first season of LIV Golf – has fallen from No. 16 in the world last July to No. 44 this week. Patrick Reed ended 2021 No. 25 and has plummeted to No. 90 despite playing some Asian and European events.

And Bryson DeChambeau, who’s been ranked as high as fourth in the world in his young career, currently checks in at No. 88.

LIV CEO Greg Norman previously called for Monahan and Pelley to recuse themselves from the OWGR board’s decision because of a conflict of interest. Receiving rankings points would lend further legitimacy to the upstart series financed by Saudi Arabia’s public investment fund, and Monahan in particular has spoken out against LIV.

“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.”

–Field Level Media