Five-time PGA Tour winner Kevin Na announced Saturday that he has resigned from the Tour, doing so rather than face possible discipline and/or legal action for playing in the rival LIV Golf Invitational Series.
Na, who is ranked 33rd in the world, announced his resignation on social media. Na is believed to be the first player to resign from the PGA Tour due to the tour’s stance on players competing in the rival series.
Na, a 19-year-old PGA Tour veteran, said he wants 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 regarding my career,” Na wrote. “If I exercise my right to choose where and when I play golf, I cannot remain a PGA Tour player without facing disciplinary proceedings and legal action from the PGA Tour.
“I am sad to share that I have chosen to resign from the PGA Tour. It was not an easy decision and not taken lightly. I hope current policies will change and I will be able to play on the PGA Tour again. PGA Tour.”
Na, 38, was one of 13 PGA Tour players listed as being included in the field for the first LIV Golf event, which begins Thursday at the Centurion Club outside London. Dustin Johnson, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Louis Oosthuizen and Sergio Garcia were among the others.
It was a very difficult decision for me. I hope my fans will continue to support me wherever I choose to play. Thanks. pic.twitter.com/3Vp2e7cPfH
— Kevin Na (@kevinna915) June 4, 2022
On May 11, the PGA Tour denied contention releases for players who had requested a release to play in the London tournament, which coincides with the RBC Canadian Open. Sources told ESPN that PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan told players’ agents at this week’s Memorial in Dublin, Ohio that players had to choose whether they would play on the PGA Tour or in the series. LIV Golf and they couldn’t play. at a time.
In the past, Monahan has told players that if they participate in a contentious event without a release, they will face penalties including fines, suspensions and/or bans.
Na earned almost $38 million during his touring career. He has six top-25 finishes in 12 tour starts this season, including a tie for 14th at the Masters and a tie for 23rd at the PGA Championship.
“For now, keep an eye on LIV Golf,” Na wrote. “This is an exciting new product and I hope you enjoy the buzz it brings to golf. I am excited to begin the next chapter of my career, starting next week at the inaugural event of the LIV Invitational series in London. Hope you continue to support me.”