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You all remember Dustin Johnson, right? You know, the guy with 24 PGA Tour victories and two major championships on his resume. The same guy who recently spent 43 straight weeks as the No. 1 player in the Official World Golf Ranking and has finished inside the top 10 in six of the first seven LIV Golf events.

Yeah, that Dustin Johnson.

Well, Johnson has been playing some of the best golf of his life over the past few months, yet he’s dropped to his worst ranking in the OWGR since 2010. That ranking is only going to keep dropping, too, which proves LIV Golf has a dire OWGR problem it desperately needs to fix.

Dustin Johnson is playing like a top-five golfer in the world

Not many golf fans outside of the avid LIV Golf truthers (they do exist, believe it or not) are even aware of how well Johnson has been playing of late. Since the inaugural LIV Golf season kicked off in June, Johnson has finished inside the top 10 in six of the rival league’s seven events.

DJ won the LIV Golf Invitational in Boston with a walk-off eagle in a playoff, finished T2 in two other tournaments, and finished inside the top five in two more. In 21 rounds of golf on the Saudi-backed tour, Johnson shot a combined 63 under par.

Johnson dominated the first LIV Golf season so thoroughly that he locked up the individual championship and the $18 million prize that comes with it before the season even came to a close. He finished the first six events with 121 points (similar to FedEx Cup points), while no one else on the tour had more than 79.

It’s unfair to surmise that Johnson would be enjoying the same success on the PGA Tour with deeper fields and longer events, but there’s no denying he’s a top-five player in the world right now. According to the OWGR, though, he’s not even inside the top 25.

Johnson highlights LIV Golf’s OWGR problem by dropping to No. 26 in the world

Dustin Johnson looks on during an LIV Golf event.
Dustin Johnson looks on from the driving range during Day 3 of the LIV Golf Invitational – Bangkok at Stonehill Golf Course | Chris Trotman/LIV Golf via Getty Images

Dustin Johnson Just Recorded His Worst Finish of the LIV Golf Season, but He Still Woke Up $18 Million Richer

If Johnson never ditched the PGA Tour to join LIV Golf, he would possibly be the No. 1 player in the world right now based on how well he’s hitting the ball. Despite his recent hot streak, he’s dropped from a top-three player to No. 26 in the OWGR, his worst ranking since August of 2010. Twelve years!

The issue here isn’t his recent play, obviously. The issue is that LIV Golf is still unable to offer OWGR points to its players. That’s why we’re seeing every LIV Golf member slip further and further down the world ranking every week. PGA Tour players are slowly accumulating points throughout the year, whereas the LIV Golf defectors are remaining stagnant in that department.

LIV Golf applied for recognition in the OWGR back in June, but the typical review for accreditation normally takes at least one calendar year. Even then, the OWGR can still say no. LIV tried to enter the back door of the OWGR by partnering with the MENA Tour, a mini-tour that is already recognized by the OWGR, but that ploy hasn’t amounted to any progress yet.

The larger dilemma here is that many LIV Golf players won’t be able to qualify for majors if they continue to drop in the OWGR. Johnson is safe for a few years because of his previous U.S. Open and Masters victories, but those exemptions will run out eventually.

LIV Golf won’t be taken seriously until it can offer OWGR points, but the rival tour is running out of time to save Johnson and others from a disastrous freefall.

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