Bryson DeChambeau’s top-12 pitch might have landed LIV members into The Open

LIV Golf will not receive Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points for the time being, which no doubt disappointed many players, including Bryson DeChambeau.

But instead of vehemently complaining, DeChambeau offered a solution: the top-12 LIV players at season’s end should gain entry into the following year’s major championships.

Each of the four majors uses the OWGR to determine its respective fields.

Yet, there is no doubt that many of the top players compete on LIV, including 2023 PGA Champion Brooks Koepka, 2022 Champion Golfer of the Year Cameron Smith, and six-time major champion Phil Mickelson.

They deserve an opportunity to compete in golf biggest’s events, according to DeChambeau.

Martin Slumbers, the Chief Executive of the R&A, who facilitates The Open Championship, seems to agree. He caught wind of DeChambeau’s proposal and responded keenly.

“I think that’s one of the options that we have,” Slumbers said via Flushing It Golf. “It’s not the option that is top of my list at the moment, but it would be one of the options that is available.”

Martin Slumbers, St. Andrews, Walker Cup

Martin Slumbers speaks at the 2023 Walker Cup trophy presentation at St. Andrews.
Photo by Oisin Keniry/R&A/R&A via Getty Images

Interestingly, at last week’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, a pro-am event on the DP World Tour, Slumbers played alongside Englishman Jordan Smith.

Smith and Slumbers were paired with LIV Golf’s Peter Uihlein during the first round.

Uihlein played with Saudi Public Investment Fund Governor Yasir al-Rumayyan, the benefactor of LIV Golf. Indeed, some business was discussed then.

The next day, the tour paired Uihlein and al-Rumayyan with Peter Dawson, the chair of the OWGR board. More discussions about the state of the professional game took place.

“The few conversations I’ve had with Mr. Dawson, he likes LIV, he loves what’s going on here, I just think he would’ve liked to have seen a couple of tweaks,” Uihlein said via Flushing It Golf. “But it doesn’t seem like it’s that far off, from the understanding that I got in speaking to him.”

Despite two of the most powerful figures playing with al-Rumayyan, the OWGR board still denied LIV Golf from receiving points.

“This decision not to make them eligible is not political,” Dawson said. “It is entirely technical. LIV players are self-evidently good enough to be ranked. They’re just not playing in a format where they can be ranked equitably with the other 24 players and thousands of players trying to compete on them.”

Nevertheless, it looks like the OWGR board, the major governing bodies, and perhaps al-Rumayyan himself will work to create a unique structure where LIV players gain entry into the majors.

Whether that is eight players, 12 players, or more remains to be seen. But whatever happens, the qualification saga that LIV Golf faces is far from over.

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.

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