“It’s their own fault!”: Justin Thomas takes a swipe at LIV Golf defectors

Justin Thomas has no sympathy for players who defected to play at LIV Golf and said they only have to blame themselves for not being able to earn ranking points from the breakaway series.

On Tuesday, all 48 LIV Golf players signed a letter to the head of the official golf rankings, Peter Dawson, asking the golf rating body to recognize the breakaway series, claiming that their current system is “undermined” and “invalid” without them.

“Every week that passes without the inclusion of LIV athletes undermines the historical value of OWGR,” the letter read.

“We invite you to quickly make a positive decision – in the interest of the integrity of the standings, the game and everyone who loves the sport.”

Thomas, who delivered the message to the media ahead of the 2022 Presidents Cup at Quail Hollow, has typically dismissed the game’s split stars, including Phil Mickelson, Bryson Dechambeau and Sergio Garcia.

“I mean, I don’t understand,” said Thomas, the two-time champion.

It’s very clear and written right there in front of them. They naturally want what’s best for them, just like the decision they made to go there.

Justin Thomas doesn’t sympathize with LIV golfers wanting world ranking points

All 48 LIV Golf players (pictured LR Dustin Johnson, Talor Gooch, Patrick Reed and Pat Perez) have written a joint letter to OWGR President Peter Dawson urging him to award Series Points

All 48 LIV Golf players (pictured LR Dustin Johnson, Talor Gooch, Patrick Reed and Pat Perez) have written a joint letter to OWGR President Peter Dawson urging him to award Series Points

The letter was signed by all the players who competed in the last event and Bubba Watson

The letter was signed by all the players who competed in the last event and Bubba Watson

I totally understand. Hey, if I was doing the same situation I’d want it, but that doesn’t necessarily make it right.

“The governing bodies created a system for a reason, to try and create the best possible system for identifying the best players in the world.”

Thomas has a strong opinion when it comes to the Saudi-backed dissident chain.

He’s previously called on “at least one” rebel to ditch and admit they walked away from the PGA Tour for money.

On the issue of ranking points, he added: “Now, yes, would it be skewed because some of the top players wouldn’t be there? Yes. But that was their fault in the decision they made, and they knew very well that there was a good chance that they wouldn’t get world ranking points, And they took that risk.

“In my opinion, this is their fault.”

Thomas is one of the players who has remained loyal to the PGA Tour this year

Thomas is one of the players who has remained loyal to the PGA Tour this year

Fellow American golfer Billy Hurschel, 35, was equally dismissive about the fight that Mickelson & Co. brought to the board.

“I’ve been consistent about this for four or five months now,” Horschel said. All these guys knew, when they left the PGA Tour, there was a good chance they might not have the world ranking points anymore.

Unfortunately, they were told that they would be given world ranking points by their teammates.

That’s how they feel, based on Greg Norman and the people out there, they feel like they should get the world ranking points straight away. This will not happen.’

The dissidents’ latest attempt for legitimacy comes at a time when they are retreating from the rankings, after they took advantage of the Saudi-backed series, the events of which do not currently qualify for rating points.

An application was made to this end in July, with LIV golfers fearing they might not qualify for major tournaments in the future if their push didn’t work out.

The letter, co-signed by Open Champion Cameron Smith, Dustin Johnson, Mickelson, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter, went on to call into question the impartiality of the eight-person OWGR board, noting that half of them are associated with the PGA Tour, and with them. LIV has entered into an ugly power struggle.

Greg Norman (left) wondered how OWGR couldn't award points to LIV golfers

Greg Norman (left) wondered how OWGR couldn’t award points to LIV golfers

It states: “About 23 rounds have been incorporated into the OWGR world, and LIV has earned its place among them. Four LIV golfers took first place in OWGR. The LIV roster includes 21 winners out of 51 winners from the four disciplines. Level of competition is in an average LIV event At least equal to that in the average PGA Tour event.We know because we’ve played in both.

“Every week that passes without LIV athletes inclusion undermines the historical value of OWGR.”

The letter added: “The case for the inclusion of LIV is strong, but we have concerns that your board members will conflict and prevent OWGR from acting as it should.

Four of the eight members have links to the PGA Tour, which unfortunately views LIV Golf as an opponent. Other members of the Council made unfairly harsh remarks about LIV. The current stressful environment makes your judgment crucial.

“We invite you to quickly make a positive decision – in the interest of the integrity of the standings, the game and everyone who loves the sport.”

Liv Golfer’s full message

Dear Mr. Dawson,

Your management has ensured that you are ranked among the world’s most respected golf institutions. As ranked athletes, we rely on OWGR not only to qualify for the most important events, including major events and the Olympics, but to tell us where we stand among our peers. Trust in OWGR has been widespread and well deserved.

To maintain confidence, we urge you – as one of the sport’s true statesmen – to act appropriately to include, on a retroactive basis, the results of LIV Golf events in the calculations of the OWGR ranking. OWGR without LIV would be incomplete and inaccurate, which is the equivalent of leaving the Big 10 or SEC out of the US college football rankings, or leaving Belgium, Argentina and England out of the FIFA rankings.

About 23 rounds have been incorporated into the OWGR universe, and LIV has earned its place among them. Four LIV golfers have finished first at OWGR, and one is currently second. The LIV roster includes 21 winners out of 51 winners out of four disciplines. The level of competition in the average LIV event is at least equal to that in the average PGA Tour event. We know because we played in both.

Every week that passes without athletes listing LIV undermines the historical value of OWGR. Over time, LIV players automatically drop in the world rankings. For example, Dustin Johnson ranked 13th in the OWGR shortly before announcing that he would play in the LIV tournaments. He now ranks 22nd – despite finishing 8th, 3rd, 2nd and 1st in the first four LIV events. Over Labor Day weekend in Boston, 15 first- or second-place golfers beat out the top four, including the 2022 Golfer’s Champion. To be accurate, the ratings DJ deserves to move up, not down.

The case for the inclusion of LIV is strong, but we have concerns that your board members will conflict, preventing OWGR from acting as it should. Four of the eight members have links to the PGA Tour, which unfortunately views LIV Golf as an opponent. Other board members made unfairly harsh remarks about LIV, with one describing the organization as “discredited”.

The current stressful environment makes your judgment crucial. In your career in sports, commercial and golf management, you have built an excellent reputation for impartiality and integrity. Your work in R&A and OWGR shows that you know how to combine tradition and innovation.

The mission of OWGR, as stated on your website, is “to administer and publish, on a weekly basis, a transparent, reliable and accurate rating based on the relative performance of players.”

How can such a system disqualify players competing at such high levels against some of the strongest areas of the year on large portfolios, in such high profile events?

We understand that LIV Golf formally applied for admission to OWGR in mid-July. Hopefully, the story we read today about making the decision to slow golfers slip the LIV and damage the LIV is not accurate. We invite you to quickly make a positive decision – in the interest of the integrity of the standings, the game and everyone who loves sports.

After all, fans deserve comprehensive and accurate ratings. Failing to sign 48 of the world’s best golfers means depriving fans of what they deserve.