Graeme McDowell resigned minutes before PGA axe to "keep the moral high ground"

Golf star Graeme McDowell admits it was a difficult decision to resign from the PGA Tour even though he wanted to "keep the moral high ground".

The world no.374 once more defended his decision to partake in the breakaway Saudi-funded LIV Golf Series. The controversial series has divided golf players and been slammed as an attempt at sports-washing by Saudi Arabia.

Play got underway at the inaugural LIV series in Hertfordshire on Thursday, but after 30 minutes, the PGA Tour announced all its members competing were to be suspended. However, 2010 US Open champion McDowell resigned from the PGA Tour just half an hour before he teed off at the Centurion Club – despite feeling like he shouldn't have to.

He said: "It was a tough decision. I wanted to keep the moral high ground and remain a member of the tour because I really didn't feel like I needed to resign, or that I should have to resign.

"I resigned out of abundance of caution, honestly. I feel it puts me in a less litigious position with regards getting drawn into anything unnecessary.

"I didn't want to resign, I love the PGA Tour. It's been great to me. This is about wanting to add on additional opportunities to my golf career."

Do you think the PGA Tour was right to suspend LIV series participants? Let us know in the comments section.

All 48 players at the LIV Invitational Series teed off at the same time in a "shotgun start", with former masters champion Charl Schwartzel carding an opening five-under-par 65 lead on day one.

The Saudi-backed LIV series is the most lucrative golf tournament in history. Its $25million (£20million) prize dwarfs the £7million on offer at the Canadian Open, which also got underway on Thursday.

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