Kevin Na Resigns from PGA Tour After Committing to Saudi-Backed LIV Golf League

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJune 4, 2022

TULSA, OKLAHOMA - MAY 21: Kevin Na of the United States plays a shot from a bunker on the 13th hole during the third round of the 2022 PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club on May 21, 2022 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Kevin Na announced that he has resigned from the PGA Tour after committing to the LIV Golf Invitational Series.

Kevin Na @kevinna915

This was a very difficult decision for me. I hope my fans will continue to support me wherever I choose to play. Thank you. <a href="https://t.co/3Vp2e7cPfH">pic.twitter.com/3Vp2e7cPfH</a>

The inaugural LIV Golf Invitational will take place from June 9-11 in London at the Centurion Club. Na will be one of 48 players taking part in the tournament.

The upstart golf league has received much criticism due to its billions in Saudi funding. Saudi Arabia has a lengthy history of human rights abuses and violations, but that has not stopped nearly 50 golfers from competing in London next week.

Phil Mickelson notably received a torrent of criticism after an extract from a book written by Alan Shipnuck told a story of a conversation with Mickelson in which he acknowledged the human rights abuses but mentioned his desire to consider playing in the LIV Golf series because of his concerns with the PGA Tour.

Anyone committing to LIV Golf also puts their PGA Tour status in jeopardy. The Tour released a statement after news of the field broke.

"As communicated to our membership on May 10, PGA Tour members have not been authorized to participate in the Saudi Golf League's London event, under PGA Tour regulations," the statement read per ESPN's Mark Schlabach. "Members who violate the tournament regulations are subject to disciplinary action."

Schlabach also said that PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan spoke with agents of some players and said that golfers could not compete on the PGA Tour and LIV Golf Series.

As far as Na and other golfers go, Eamon Lynch of Golfweek provided some insight.

Eamon Lynch @eamonlynch

Other LIV players will, like Kevin Na, probably resign their PGA Tour memberships, which means they can’t be suspended but would just lose their status. That in turn removes the most likely basis on which the USGA might have prevented them playing the U.S. Open this month.

The LIV Golf series will feature eight events this year. It will be a team format that sees the 48 golfers split into groups of four. A championship event in Miami starting October 27 will close the series.