Na first LIV player to resign from PGA Tour

Five-time PGA Tour winner Kevin Na has become the first player to resign ahead of expected legal action from the PGA Tour.

The Tour has previously warned their membership that any player who tees it up in the new Saudi-backed LIV Series, will be subject to unspecified punishment.

Jason Kokrak, Greg Norman and Kevin Na Jason Kokrak, tournament host Greg Norman and Kevin Na at Norman’s QBE event in December last year (Credit: QBE)

It remains to be seen if any ban would be legally binding, however, Na has chosen to avoid the issue completely by relinquishing his playing rights entirely.

“I am sad to share that I have chosen to resign from the PGA Tour. This has not been an easy decision and not one I take lightly. I hope the current policies change and I’ll be able to play on the PGA Tour again,” said Na in a statement.

“Recent developments in the professional golf world have given me a chance to reconsider my options. I would like the freedom to play wherever I want and exercising my right as a free agent gives me that opportunity.”

“However to remain a PGA Tour player, I must give up my right to make these choices about my career. If I exercise my right to choose where and when I play golf, then I cannot remain a PGA Tour player without facing disciplinary proceedings and legal action from the PGA Tour.”

“I am thrilled to begin the next chapter in my career, starting next week at the inaugural LIV Invitational series event in London. I hope you’ll continue to support me.”

Na is one of a handful of high-profile players including Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Graeme McDowell, Lee Westwood, Louis Oosthuizen, Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia, who have chosen to play in the breakaway series, which kicks off this Thursday in London.

The Centurion Club tournament marks the first of eight LIV events scheduled for this year with each event offering a US$25 million prize pool and $4 million for the winner along with a season-ending teams event worth a cool US$50 million.