The IGF has "no plans" to change the Olympic qualification system, which is based off Official World Golf Ranking points ©Getty Images

The International Golf Federation (IGF) has "no plans to modify the qualification system" for Paris 2024, with players in the breakaway LIV Golf series facing potential exclusion from the Olympics under the current rules.

Qualification for the Olympic golf tournaments is based off the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR), and LIV events do not offer OWGR points.

With LIV players suspended from competing on the PGA Tour, which would ordinarily be the main source of OWGR points for many of the series' stars, including Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau, their route to the Olympics appears blocked.

"Events held during the Olympic qualification period that do not meet the criteria to earn world ranking points therefore do not contribute to the Olympic rankings," the IGF reiterated in a statement to insidethegames.

"We have no plans to modify the qualification system for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games."

The IGF, which has overseen the golf tournaments at the Olympics since the sport's re-admission at Rio 2016, added that it has "no position" on LIV events but is "obviously disappointed by the negative impact related issues are having on the reputation of our sport".

Saudi-backed LIV Golf was not discussed at an April Board meeting and the agenda for the next gathering in July has not been set, the IGF told insidethegames.

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan chairs the IGF Board.

Men's golf's majors - which are still open to LIV players - carry the most OWGR points and Englishman Matt Fitzpatrick jumped from 18th to 10th in the world ranking after winning the US Open last weekend.

But there are only four majors per year, so if LIV players are to qualify for the Olympics they are likely to need to supplement their ranking with OWGR points from elsewhere.

This could come from LIV events if they are granted OWGR eligibility, or from an alternative tour.

Missing out on regular OWGR points would also hamper LIV players' attempts to qualify for majors. 

The OWGR told insidethegames it will not comment on applications it may or may not have received for ranking eligibility, while LIV Golf did not respond to a request for comment.

The DP World Tour, formally the European Tour, may offer LIV players a lifeline.

While those from the PGA Tour who played in the curtain-raising LIV Golf Invitational in St Albans in England have been suspended indefinitely, DP World Tour players who took part have not been barred from this week's BMW International Open in Munich. 

The men's golf event at Tokyo 2020 did considerably better than its Rio 2016 counterpart in attracting the world's top players, although Johnson was among those to opt out and was ranked world number one when he announced that decision.

LIV Golf has already announced one major signing this week, Mexico's Abraham Ancer, and four-time major winner Brooks Koepka is poised to follow.

Koepka is 19th in the world ranking and has one of golf's biggest followings, partly down to a public feud with fellow American, major champion and LIV player DeChambeau.

Dustin Johnson, another American and a two-time major champion, is the highest-ranked LIV player at 16th.

Other major champions to have signed up for LIV events include six-time major champion Phil Mickelson, the 52-year-old who made a public comeback in St Albans following a months-long break in response to the backlash he received for comments about the new promotion.

Four-time major champion Brooks Koepka has pulled out of this week's PGA Tour competition and is expected to be announced as LIV Golf's latest signing ©Getty Images
Four-time major champion Brooks Koepka has pulled out of this week's PGA Tour competition and is expected to be announced as LIV Golf's latest signing ©Getty Images

LIV Golf Investments is majority owned by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund and critics say the country is using it for sportswashing.

Homosexuality is illegal in Saudi Arabia, women's rights are severely restricted, as is free speech, and the country is leading a coalition which has carried out deadly airstrikes across Yemen since 2015.

These issues - plus Saudi Arabia's links to the 9/11 terror attacks - have been at the forefront of criticism over certain golfers' willingness to sign up to the series, which is made up of 54-hole competitions and sees players compete in teams.

Mickelson previously admitted the project was "sportswashing", claiming the Saudi partners were "scary motherfuckers to get involved with" and "have a horrible record on human rights", as reported by Fire Pit Collective.

However, he defended the breakaway as being in players' best interests as the PGA Tour is "really a dictatorship".

American Patrick Reed, Sergio Garcia of Spain, Martin Kaymer of Germany, Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland and South Africans Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel are also past major champions in the LIV Golf stable.

Schwartzel and his Stinger GC team won the first LIV event, earning him $4.75 million (£3.85 million/€4.5 million).