Kevin Na has decided to resign from the PGA Tour in order to play in a Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series event without the threat of punishment.
The American golfer announced his decision via Instagram on Saturday.
The 33rd best-ranked golfer in the world is one of many listed in the field for the June 9-11 event at Centurion Club outside London along with former world number one Dustin Johnson and former Masters champion Sergio Garcia.
The PGA Tour has reiterated a warning to its members saying those who feature on the Saudi-funded breakaway circuit would be “subject to disciplinary action”.
Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson, the biggest names associated with the breakaway league, have already been dropped by several sponsors while other golfers have been left unimpressed by the names featuring in the first LIV league tournament.
Kevin Na said he appreciated the PGA Tour for the opportunities it provided over 19 years but “recent developments in the professional golf world” had forced him to reconsider his 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,” he wrote on
“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 I take lightly. I hope the current policies changes and I’ll be able to play on the PGA Tour again.”
Both the PGA Tour and DP World Tour had declined all requests from members who had asked for releases to compete in the rival series.
Money is the main motivation behind changes in allegiance with the event at Centurion having $25 million up for grabs including $4 million for the winner.