LIV Golf Standoff Threatens Olympic Hopes for Top Golfers

LIV Golf Standoff Threatens Olympic Hopes for Top Golfers

India's top golfer Anirban Lahiri has expressed concern that the ongoing standoff between LIV Golf and the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) could prevent many top-ranked players from qualifying for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Lahiri, who currently plays in the Saudi-funded LIV Golf, is facing an uphill battle to earn enough ranking points to secure one of the 60 spots available for the Games. The OWGR does not recognize LIV Golf events, making it extremely difficult for players like Lahiri to accumulate the necessary points.

"There's no point in speculating on what ifs. The reality of the situation is what it is. And within that framework, you have to find a way to qualify," said Lahiri.

Lahiri believes that the current situation could serve as a wake-up call for the golf world to address the issue. "It might be a situation where a lot of really good golfers are going to be in the top 10, who could be playing for their countries, don't make it to Paris," he said. "And maybe that's what's needed for the world to wake up and say we need to do something."

Despite the challenges, Lahiri remains determined to qualify for the Olympics. He will be competing in the Hero India Open this week, hoping to earn valuable ranking points. "Unless I play well this week and potentially one or two more events, there is not much to look forward to unfortunately," he said.

Lahiri, who has participated in two previous Olympics, is currently the third-ranked Indian golfer behind Shubhankar Sharma and Gaganjeet Bhullar. He is eager to make a strong showing in Paris, but acknowledges that the current ranking system presents a significant obstacle.

"I had two goes at it (Olympics), I have a whole list of excuses for not playing well (laughs) but then let bygones be bygones," he said. "It's like a major championship, right? You want to have as many starts at majors as possible to contend and to win. So it's the same thing. The Olympics are fewer and much further in between."

Lahiri's comments highlight the ongoing tension between LIV Golf and the established golf ecosystem. The OWGR's refusal to recognize LIV Golf events has created a divide in the sport, with some players choosing to join the lucrative Saudi-backed league while others remain loyal to the traditional tours.

Tags: #LIVGolf, #OWGR, #ParisOlympics, #AnirbanLahiri, #GolfRankings

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