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How Far LIV Golf Stars Have Fallen Down The World Rankings

By: | Mon 12 Dec 2022

DID you know that the golfer who finished in 20th and last place at the recent Hero World Challenge received the same number of world ranking points as the man who finished third at the Indonesian Open? 

For the record, it was Tommy Fleetwood who was 20th, finishing his week seven over par and 23 shots behind winner Viktor Hovland. I can tell you here and now that Fleetwood will have been embarrassed to have picked up any points at all on the back of such a poor week.

Let’s be clear - the Hero Challenge is a 20-man fun event. Yes, many of the world’s top players were in action in the Bahamas but there was no cut. You may remember that one of the reasons cited for not handing out rankings points to LIV Golf events is that the tournaments have limited fields and no cut.

And speaking of LIV Golf, the lack of ranking points has led to serious consequences for a number of their players who have tumbled down the rankings during the past 12 months.

For some it means that they will no longer be exempt to play in any of the four majors. Several others still have major exemptions thanks to past success in the sport’s biggest events.

Cameron Smith

Ranking at The Beginning of 2022: 22

Current Ranking: 3

The Australian is the exception that proves the rule after a truly astonishing year., He started it by winning the Tournament of Champions and followed with victories at the Players Championship and at the 150th Open Championship. He defected to LIV, won on his second start, and then headed Down Under and won the Australian PGA Championship. But his ranking will start to slide in 2023 as it stands.

Sergio Garcia

Sergio Garcia

(Image Credit: Kevin Diss Photography)

Ranking at The Beginning of 2022: 45

Current Ranking: 105

Regarded by many as Europe's greatest ever Ryder Cup player, Garcia has given up his legacy. He recently fell out of the world's top 100 golfers for the first time since 1999. This comes after the 2017 Masters champion competed in just four OWGR-recognised events since June, finishing outside the top 40 on two occasions, whilst missing the cut and withdrawing from his other two. He has a lifetime exemption at Augusta but will not be teeing it up at The Open, US Open or US PGA Championship in 2023.

Ian Poulter

Ian Poulter

(Image Credit: Kevin Diss Photography)

Ranking at The Beginning of 2022: 54

Current ranking: 137

Poulter competed in all eight LIV events in 2022. The Englishman also only competed in four tournaments where ranking points were on offer, but failed to take advantage with his best finish coming in a tie for 23rd in the Czech Masters, which failed to move the 46-year-old's position in the ranking system. Unsurprisingly, Poulter has criticised the world ranking system, describing it as “dated” and “broken”. Well, he would, wouldn’t he?

Matthew Wolff

Ranking at The Beginning of 2022: 30

Current Ranking: 148

Regarded as one of the sport’s brightest prospects just a couple of years ago, Wolff’s career went into a slump before he joined LIV Golf - and his defection has done nothing to change his fortunes, with his world ranking tumbling and his major career seemingly over.

Lee Westwood

Ranking at The Beginning of 2022: 37

Current Ranking: 143

A former world No1, Westwood is about to drop out of the top 150 after falling out of the top 100 during the summer for the first time in 20 years. Westwood has come close to winning several majors but his days at that elite level are now done.

Bryson DeChambeau

Ranking at The Beginning of 2022: 5

Current Ranking: 62

Arguably one of the biggest names to make the Saudi switch, DeChambeau headed into 2022 as one of the best in the business, having just missed out on the PGA Tour's season ending prize the FedEx Cup, whilst sitting fifth in the rankings. He won the US Open in 2020, which means he can still play in that tournament at the Masters in April, as well as The Open and US PGA Championship.

Brooks Koepka

Ranking at The Beginning of 2022: 16

Current Ranking: 48

Koepka is a former US Open and US PGA champion, as well as being a Ryder Cup stalwart. He spent most of 2021 involved in a public feud with DeChambeau, but LIV Golf has brought them together - and has also seen Koepka’s world ranking plummet.

Dustin Johnson

Ranking at The Beginning of 2022: 3

Current Ranking: 40

The Dustinator has dominated LIV Golf tournaments on the course and was crowned their individual champion, pocketing a fortune in the process. So it is fair to say that Johnson is laughing all the way to the bank. But…at the start of 2022 he was ranked third in the world but is now 40th, and will continue to drop down the rankings unless he can win The Masters or one of the other three majors for which he is still eligible.

Phil Mickelson

Ranking at The Beginning of 2022: 37

Current Ranking: 192

Lefty is the biggest loser of all in the rankings table. He began the year in 37th place but took a leave of absence after a series of controversial comments about both the PGA Tour and his Saudi paymasters. And when he returned he was unable to find any form worth talking about. The six-time major champion was seen as LIV Golf’s marquee singing but they must now be wondering if they are getting value for money. It is only a matter of time before he falls out of the top 200.

Martin Kaymer

Ranking at The Beginning of 2022: 118

Current Ranking: 452

Kaymer has seen the biggest fall in the rankings on the back of his LIV move. The German is a former world number one who has won two majors, but those days seem a long, long way off as he falls out of the top 450.

Graeme McDowell

Ranking at The Beginning of 2022: 326

Current Ranking: 403

At the start of 2022, McDowell spoke about reclaiming his place in Europe’s Ryder Cup team. It seemed fanciful for the Northern Irishman, despite his four PGA Tour and 11 DP World Tour victories. It is hard to believe now that he won the US Open in 2010 and was one of the world’s best players.

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Tags: PGA Tour LIV Golf FedEx Cup daily picks

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