Kevin Na, 19-year veteran of the PGA Tour and the world No. 33, announced Saturday that he's resigned from the tour to avoid potential discipline for playing in the upstart LIV Golf Invitational Series.
Na, 38, is believed to be the first player to resign from the PGA Tour for LIV Golf. Na was one of the 13 PGA Tour players to be on the field of competitors for LIV Golf's first event, which begins Thursday at Centurion Club in London. On May 11, the PGA Tour denied release requests from players looking to play in the London tournament, as the RBC Canadian Open is scheduled to tee off the same weekend.
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has threatened disciplinary action and lifetime bans from the tour for those who participate. He told players agents at this week's Memorial in Dublin, Ohio, that players needed to choose which circuit they wanted to play on and it couldn't be both.
"To remain a PGA Tour player, I must give up my right to make these choices about my career," Na wrote, via Twitter. "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 sad to share that I have chosen to resign from the PGA Tour. This has not been an easy decision and not one taken lightly. I hope the current policies change and I'll be able to play on the PGA Tour again."
A five-time winner on the PGA Tour, the last coming at the Sony Open in Hawaii on Jan. 17, 2021, Na finished T-14 at the Masters and T-23 at the PGA Championship this season. Having earned $38 million during his career on the PGA Tour, Na will be looking to get a chunk of the $255 million total purse for the eight-event series.
Along with Na, former world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, Louis Oosthuizen, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell are the notables to be in the field for the first LIV Golf event.
"For now, please keep an eye out for LIV Golf," Na wrote. "It is an exciting new product and I hope you will enjoy the buzz it brings to golf. 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."