LIV Golf has not been accepted by the sport's official world rankings ©Getty Images

LIV Golf's bid to be accepted by the sport's official world rankings has been rejected, a move which will impact players hoping to qualify for the majors and Olympic Games.

Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) chairman Peter Dawson said LIV's 54-hole format with no cut was a problem as well as the fact that the Saudi-backed circuit only features the same 48 players all season.

Dawson wrote a letter explaining the decision to LIV Golf chief executive Greg Norman and chief operating officer Gary Davidson, which said ranking points for LIV could potentially be decided using a mathematical formula.

He also expressed concerns about 14 players being invited back next season, regardless of performance.

"It is unfortunate that no way to include LIV Golf in the ranking could be found which would be fair and equitable to the 24 currently eligible tours and their thousands of playing members," said Dawson.

"Keeping this matter under review, OWGR will continue to monitor developments in men’s professional golf as a whole and at LIV in particular."

Qualification for all four of golf's majors and the Paris 2024 Olympic Games take into account the OWGR.

LIV Golf star Talor Gooch faces missing the sport's majors ©Getty Images
LIV Golf star Talor Gooch faces missing the sport's majors ©Getty Images

For the Olympics, the top 15 ranked players are eligible, with a limit of four from one country.

Outside of this, a maximum of two eligible players from each country that does not already have two or more among the top 15 will qualify, with a total field of 60.

With no rankings on offer through LIV, its golfers will slide down the list and potentially out of contention, as points won at previous tournaments drop off after two years.

There are other ways to qualify for majors, such as by winning one of the events, but some LIV players face being forced out.

A LIV statement said the OWGR could no longer deliver on the objective of ranking the world's best golfers.

"Players have historically remained subject to a single world ranking to qualify for major championships, the biggest events, and for corporate sponsor contract value," it said.  

"A ranking which fails to fairly represent all participants, irrespective of where in the world they play golf, robs fans, players and all of golf's stakeholders of the objective basis underpinning any accurate recognition of the world’s best player performances. 

"It also robs some traditional tournaments of the best fields possible.

"Professional golf is now without a true or global scoring and ranking system. 

"There is no benefit for fans or players from the lack of trust or clarity as long as the best player performances are not recognised. 

"LIV will continue to strive to level set the market so fans, broadcasters and sponsors have the assurance of an independent and objective ranking system and the pure enjoyment of watching the best golf in the world."

American Talor Gooch, who has won three LIV Golf events, is among those who could miss out on the majors.

"It further confirms the irrelevancy of the OWGR," he said.

"Their job is to rank players all around the world, it's not players' and tours' jobs to conform to what they decide is worth getting ranked, or how you're able to get ranked. 

"It's their job to figure out who the best players in the world are - which they aren't able to do. 

"I don't think they should be the keyholders for that."

Australian golfer Cameron Smith had previously called for a quick resolution to the issue after joining LIV, although the majors are less of a factor for him as the 2022 Open champion.

"I think OWGR is almost obsolete now," he said. 

"We've got some guys out here who are playing some of the best golf in the world and they're outside the top 100, 200 in the world. 

"It's pretty ridiculous.

"Talor's had probably his best career year. 

Cameron Smith said the rankings were now
Cameron Smith said the rankings were now "obsolete" ©Getty Images

"To see him probably not going to be in the majors next year is pretty poor. 

"That's the biggest thing - finding a resolution for those majors. 

"If they do it, great. 

"If they don't - I wouldn't be surprised. 

"It's a pretty sour place to be in at the moment."

LIV Golf has deeply divided the sport, with the huge sums of money on offer luring numerous players away.

The circuit bankrolled by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) has faced criticism for the country's human rights record.

Other major champions who are part of the LIV ranks include Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed and Sergio Garcia.

In June, the PGA Tour and DP World Tour announced a shock merger with the PIF to end the split in the sport.

Players competing in the LIV events had been banned from playing on the PGA Tour.