LIV Golf players should get ranking points, Matsuyama says

Oct 10, 2022, 2:30 PM | Updated: Oct 11, 2022, 2:46 am
FILE - Hideki Matsuyama, of Japan, hits from the sixth tee during their singles match at the Presid...

FILE - Hideki Matsuyama, of Japan, hits from the sixth tee during their singles match at the Presidents Cup golf tournament at the Quail Hollow Club, Sept. 25, 2022, in Charlotte, N.C. Former Masters champion Matsuyama said on Tuesday, Oct. 11, that he believes players who left to play on the Saudi-funded league known as LIV Golf may be entitled to earn ranking points.(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

INZAI CITY, Japan (AP) — The players who left to compete in the Saudi-funded LIV Golf series should be entitled to earn ranking points, former Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama said Tuesday.

Speaking at the Zozo Championship, which opens Thursday, Matsuyama called the ranking-points question “difficult” and didn’t offer any details, solutions or clarifications.

“I think they should be able to,” he said, speaking in Japanese. “However, there’s a procedure they’ll have to follow.”

LIV Golf is funded by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. Matsuyama suggested he was staying with the PGA Tour.

“I’m a member of the PGA Tour,” Matsuyama said. “The players who left did so because they thought it was the right thing to do. So I can’t say anything about them.”

Viktor Hovland also said LIV players shouldn’t get an automatic exemption for ranking points.

“If you want to get world ranking points, you obviously have to follow the process,” the Norwegian said. “And I think they’re obviously making an effort to get those points, but I don’t think it’s right to give them an exemption to just get points overnight. They obviously have to follow the process, whatever the process might be.”

Matsuyama won last year’s Zozo Championship — the only PGA Tour event in Japan — with a final-round 65 for a five-shot victory over Brendan Steele at the Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club, the same venue for this year.

He’ll be the local favorite at the course located about an hour outside Tokyo. The purse is $11 million.

“The energy that the fans provide really helps out, it helps my game,” Matsuyama said. “But on the other hand, there’s pressure that goes along with it.”

Xander Schauffele may be under more pressure than Matsuyama, and also will have his own Japan-related following.

The American’s mother has roots in Taiwan but grew up in Japan. He said his wife, Maya, was born in Japan’s southern island of Okinawa, and her mother is from a small island off the Okinawa coast — Miyakojima.

He said he has a pre-tournament meal in the Tokyo area planned with some of his extended family in Japan.

“I think there’s going to be probably roughly 30 of us is what I’ve heard. It will be nice to see all my grandparents, my uncles, aunts and my cousins,” he said.

Schauffele was asked precisely how many he expected for dinner.

“As many as I can get out,” he said.

After the tournament, he’s heading to the Okinawa area for another family event with his “wife’s grandparents.”

“I’ve never met them,” he said, “so I’m very excited to go and spend a couple nights.”


More AP golf: and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Belgium's Kevin De Bruyne in action during the World Cup group F soccer match between Belgium and C...
Associated Press

De Bruyne, Belgium need 2nd chance to impress at World Cup

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Belgium midfielder Kevin De Bruyne knew he didn’t play well in his team’s opening World Cup game. He said as much when he accepted the man of the match award. “I don’t know why I got the trophy,” De Bruyne said. “Maybe it’s because of my name.” With De Bruyne looking […]
1 day ago
Players warm up during Japan official training on the eve of the group E of World Cup soccer match ...
Associated Press

Japan aims for World Cup knockout stage against Costa Rica

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — How big was Japan’s 2-1 upset of Germany in the opening round of the World Cup? Newspapers in Japan used the term “Daikimboshi” from sumo wrestling to describe the magnitude of the surprise: when a low-ranked wrestler overpowers a grand champion. The victory has also been compared to Japan’s 34-32 upset […]
1 day ago
German players gather during a training session at the Al-Shamal stadium on the eve of the group E ...
Associated Press

Germany’s World Cup survival on the line against Spain

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — When the World Cup draw came out in April, one of the highlights of the group stage was Sunday’s Spain vs. Germany at Al Bayt Stadium. Eight months later, the game between the two former world champions and pre-tournament favorites gained even more prominence thanks to Germany’s surprising loss to Japan […]
1 day ago
Canada's head coach John Herdman talks with his team after their loss in the World Cup group F socc...
Associated Press

Herdman’s inspiration try at World Cup, provokes Croatia

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Canada had just lost its first World Cup match in 36 years, outplaying Belgium for much of a 1-0 defeat, and an emotional John Herdman revealed in the on-field interview what he had just told his players during a postgame huddle. “I told them they belong here. And we’re going to […]
1 day ago
FILE - Palestinian soccer fans wave Qatari and Palestinian flags as they watch a live broadcast of ...
Associated Press

Flashes of Arab unity at World Cup after years of discontent

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — For a brief moment after Saudi Arabia’s Salem Aldawsari fired a ball from just inside the penalty box into the back of the net to seal a World Cup win against Argentina, Arabs across the divided Middle East found something to celebrate. Such Arab unity is hard to come by and […]
1 day ago
Oregon center N'Faly Dante, right, shoots over Michigan State guard Pierre Brooks (1) and center Ma...
Associated Press

Hauser helps No. 12 Michigan State hold off Oregon 74-70

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Joey Hauser had 18 points and 10 rebounds to help No. 12 Michigan State hold off a strong challenge from Oregon to win 74-70 in the consolation round of the Phil Knight Invitational tournament Friday night. Tyson Walker added 18 points and eight assists for the Spartans (4-2), while Pierre Brooks […]
1 day ago
LIV Golf players should get ranking points, Matsuyama says