'I Wanted To Keep The Moral High Ground' - McDowell On PGA Tour Resignation

Speaking at The Centurion Club, McDowell revealed he resigned his PGA Tour membership just 30 minutes prior to his tee off time

McDowell speaks to the media following the first round of the LIV Golf Invitational Series
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Following the first round of the LIV Golf Invitational London (opens in new tab), Graeme McDowell revealed that he had "resigned" his PGA Tour membership "about 30 minutes before teeing it up," with the 2010 US Open champion stating it was a "hard decision."

"I wanted to keep the moral high ground and kind of remain a member of the Tour because I really didn't feel like I needed to resign nor that I should have to resign," explained McDowell, who carded a four-over-par round of 74 at The Centurion Club. (opens in new tab)

McDowell hits a tee shot

McDowell's last victory came at the 2020 Saudi International

(Image credit: Getty Images)

"It was a very difficult decision. I kind of resigned out of an abundance of caution honestly because I feel like it puts me in a less litigious situation regards getting drawn into anything unnecessarily.

"But like I say, I didn't want to resign. I love the PGA Tour. It's been great to me. This is not about the PGA Tour is a bad Tour. This is about being able to add on additional opportunities to my golf career.

"Unfortunately this is going to be short-term pain, but I think all the players that are here this week have only been strengthened in their confidence that we are making the right decisions here because we feel like the execution level that we're seeing here, the passion, the love of the game of golf that these guys have at LIV, that's why we're here. I feel like confidence has been strengthened. Even in the face of consequences which we knew were kind of on the horizon."

Team Niblicks pose with Greg Norman at the LIV Invitational London Draft

Bernd Wiesberger, McDowell, Greg Norman, Oliver Fisher and Turk Pettit pose for a photograph following the LIV Golf Invitational - London Draft

(Image credit: Getty Images)

After the first tee shots were struck in Hertfordshire, the PGA Tour released a statement (opens in new tab) that banned all players who are teeing it up in the LIV Golf Invitational Series and those who play in future events, with the Tour stating that LIV Golf players are "suspended or otherwise no longer eligible to participate" in PGA Tour events.

Following the actions of the PGA Tour, McDowell wasn't surprised. However, the 42-year-old maintains that "it's not healthy for the sport," with the Northern Irishman stating: "We're here because we believe we're independent contractors and we can do -- we should be allowed to compete and play where we want to all over the world.

"There's not a whole lot we can do about it obviously. As players, we're here understanding the consequences of what may lay ahead of us, and you know, obviously we're trying to operate best we can and the team at LIV have done a great job helping us navigate those potential consequences, and have said they will stand by us as we go through this processes."

Matt studied Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University, graduating in 2019. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly and the PGA, he covers all aspects of the game, from Tour news to equipment testing and buyers’ guides. Taking up the game at the age of six, Matt currently holds a handicap of 3 and despite not having a hole in one…yet, he has had two albatrosses. His favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.