The Majors will decide whether Dustin Johnson and Co will receive world ranking points

Greg Norman, CEO and Commissioner of LIV Golf, introduced to the public at the team stroke-play round of the LIV Golf Invitational - Miami at the Trump National Doral Miami - LIV Golf: Trio Retired

Greg Norman, CEO and Commissioner of LIV Golf, introduced to the public at the team stroke-play round of the LIV Golf Invitational – Miami at the Trump National Doral Miami – LIV Golf: Trio Retired

If Greg Norman is looking for a conspiracy to blame the events of LIV Golf for the denial of world ranking points, he will now have to play a dangerous game and point the finger at the four majors.

Norman vehemently demanded that Jay Monahan, PGA Tour Commissioner, and Keith Pelley, DP World Tour CEO, withdraw as board members from participating in the LIV application to join the official world golf rankings.

And in a move that may surprise Norman, Pelley revealed here on Monday that the couple did just that, as did Keith Waters, Pelley’s right-hand man who also sits on the OWGR panel.

“At the last meeting of the board of OWGR [in December] me, Jay Monahan and Keith Waters have withdrawn and now a separate committee of four majors will review the application,” he said.

“I have not reviewed the LIV application and have not commented on an application I have not seen. So as far as LIV is concerned, we are not involved and have no influence or talk about what is going on.

LIV’s access to ranking points has become one of the main bones of contention for the Saudi-funded circuit since it submitted the forms last July.

In October, golfers on the LIV roster – including Open Cam champion Smith and former World No. 1 Dustin Johnson, dropped to 44th “positive” and “quick” resolution.

However, the process takes at least a year, and the OWGR noises insisted that LIV did not meet any of the criteria. Telegraph sports only reported three months ago that LIV was trying to exploit a loophole so that £22m tournaments could award points and thus allow golfers to return to major tournaments. But the OWGR refused to acknowledge LIV’s connection to the MENA Tour, a humble Middle Eastern and African circuit.

After Pelley’s revelation, the matter is in the hands of the R&A, the US Golf Association, the Augusta National and the PGA of America. An interesting fact is that the majors have not banned LIV players and believe that they can judge whether they deserve the status of world rankings. Tours will now have to accept their decision.

Pelley later confirmed on Monday that the trio withdrew from the lawsuit “because our legal counsel suggested we did.” It’s safe to say Pelley has been spending a lot of time with Tour lawyers lately as he prepares for a UK arbitration hearing next month that will essentially determine whether Wentworth headquarters has the right to ban LIV players.

These include Lee Westwood, who in an interview in Abu Dhabi last week was highly critical of the current state of the Tour, saying Telegraph sports “I don’t know what the Tour is anymore” and the question of why only one player in the world’s top 20 took part in the $9m (£7.3m) Abu Dhabi Championship.

Pelley responded to the remarks but was careful not to name Westwood directly.

“We had an interesting evening last night at the post-tournament party [in Abu Dhabi] and it was amazing how many people came to me and said they were disappointed with the player’s comments earlier this week and that it was not fair to the staff,” he said. “I didn’t realize how nervous the staff were.”

Westwood is playing the Hero Desert Classic, which starts on Thursday at the Majlis field. World number 1 Rory McIlroy is also in the game and may need a strong week to prevent Jon Rahm from usurping his position at the top of the rankings.

Rahm won his fourth title in six starts at the American Express Championship in California on Sunday, moving up to world No. 3 and could reclaim his top spot at the Farmers Insurance Open, which begins Wednesday in Torrey Pines.

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