The Official World Golf Ranking has announced that a tour will start to receive points in 2023, but it’s not LIV Golf.
The OWGR will begin to include the Gira de Golf Professional de Mexicana after the first week of January following a 16-month application process. The tour was founded in 2017.
“This is a significant milestone for golf and OWGR is deeply encouraged by the achievement and the continued efforts in the advancement of the sport of golf in Mexico,” said chairman Peter Dawson via a release. “We look forward to watching the progress of Gira de Golf Professional de Mexicana as it continues to play a key role in the development of players from the region.”
Tournaments on the Gira de Golf Professional de Mexicana schedule are contested over 54 holes with a 36-hole cut. The tour is accessible via open qualifying school and features a no-cut, season-ending championship. The OWGR release commended the tour for its efforts in providing pathways for players, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, when Gira de Golf hosted tournaments in conjunction with the PGA Tour Latinoamérica.
Fans may wonder what this move means for LIV Golf, the upstart circuit led by Greg Norman and supported by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. LIV applied for OWGR points in July of 2022 and a decision has yet to be made. The circuit attempted to undermine the lengthy process with its “strategic alliance” with the developmental MENA Tour, which led to the OWGR announcement that LIV events – which feature a team and individual competition over 54 holes with no cut and daily shotgun starts – would not receive points in 2022. The 16-month process would point to a November 2023 decision for LIV, but the more pertinent information in Wednesday’s OWGR announcement centers on Gira de Golf’s 36-hole cuts and open qualifying school.
From the release: “As such, the Gira de Golf Professional de Mexicana is in keeping with long-standing OWGR Eligibility and Format Criteria providing inclusion for professional tours at the development level with available Ranking Points commensurate with the format and anticipated fields.”
“We are very proud that after almost 5 years of work, the Mexican Professional Golf Tour becomes part of the OWGR,” said Gira de Golf commissioner José Miguel Bejos. “It is one of the most important achievements that Mexican professional golf has had in recent years and we will continue with the commitment to promote golf in our country.”
The tour returns to action Jan. 27-29, 2023.