The 2017 Masters champion, Sergio García, has resigned from the PGA Tour in favor of Saudi Arabia-sponsored LIV Golf Series

which kicks off this week at Centurion Club in Hertfordshire. The Guardian understands that García and three South African players Louis Oosthuizen,

Branden Grace and Charl Schwartzel have followed Kevin Na's lead in ending their PGA Tour relationship ahead of the $ 25m (LIV) LIV event (£ 20m).

The four executives have not yet responded to a request for comment but US sources have confirmed the position.

Na announced her plans in a statement on social media on Saturday.

The widely circulated theory is that golfers want to avoid possible penalties for a major golf course - as it may in theory affect

their eligibility to play in major tournaments - by removing themselves from the membership list.

That such a policy works to be seen but García's exit from the PGA Tour, where he won 11 times and is a fan favorite, is remarkable.