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Thursday, September 29, 2022

Na resigns as Tour member after signing up for Saudi league

DUBLIN, Ohio ( Associated Press) — Kevin Na on Saturday became the first player to publicly resign from the PGA Tour, four days after the Saudi-funded LIV Golf Invitational listed him on the field for the start of the new series next week.

According to a person familiar with his decisions, Na is one of six players to resign. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the players have said no. Na announced his decision on social media.

Na is ranked 33rd in the world and is among four players in the top 50 who have signed up for Saudi funding to play in Greg Norman’s new league of 48-man field in 54 holes and prizes for each event. The amount is up to $25 million. ,

The first will start outside London next Friday.

“I want the freedom to play wherever I want and to exercise my authority as a free agent gives me that opportunity,” he wrote. “However, in order to remain a PGA Tour player, I have to give up my right to make these choices about my career.”

Na is a five-time PGA Tour winner and has $37.9 million in career earnings.

The PGA Tour requires members to play 15 times a year, and has historically provided releases for at least three overseas tournaments a year. However, it denied release because of its threat to the LIV Golf Invitational as a series of eight tournaments, five of which were in the United States.

The tour does not allow releases for events held in North America. The tour stated that those who played at the LIV event outside London next week would face discipline that was not specified, possibly losing membership.

One of the reasons for the resignation of players is also the presence of big companies. The USGA has not said whether players who signed up for LIV Golf will be allowed to play the US Open June 16-19 at The Country Club. Although the Tour does not run majors, the relationship is such that majors can respect PGA Tour rules if a player is suspended.

“I hope current policies will change and I will be able to play on the PGA Tour again,” Na wrote.

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More Associated Press Golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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