Bubba Watson is coming back and that's bound to be good news, even if he's going to start the season at the PIF Saudi International (Asian Tour), financed like the LIV Golf by the sovereign fund of Saudi Arabia, then continue it within the dissident Saudi league, with Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson and their friends… The former world number 2, double winner of the Masters, passed on the billiards last May, because the meniscus of his right knee was damaged.
At 44, he was one of LIV Golf's flagship recruits but had not yet been able to play a single tournament. As a result, he converted last year by consulting TV on the rebel circuit, the time to complete his rehabilitation. Tuesday, at a press conference, before the Jeddah tournament which will launch the 2023 Asian Tour season, Bubba Watson first took care to thank the organizers of Augusta National for not having excluded the players from LIV Golf who meet the criteria for participation in the 87th Masters, in early April.
Then he clarified that he would arrive at the last minute, because the LIV Golf calendar had scheduled a tournament in Orlando (Florida) the previous week.
Bubba Watson, statements
"It's kind of confusing to know that I'm going to be golfing the weekend before in Orlando," Bubba said Tuesday, "and I'm going to miss the end of the Women's Amateur and the Drive, Chip and Putt.
Sunday, with the children. But as soon as he completes his 54 holes in Orlando on April 2, he "will leave as soon as possible for Augusta", because he wants to "support all that the Masters represents for the game of golf".
More diplomatic than Bubba, it is difficult in these times of controversy. And his right knee injury did not make him lose his sense of humor, the proof: “Hey, as long as I am accepted at the Champions Dinner, it will be fine for me.
I will sit where Scottie (Scheffler, the 2022 winner) tells me to sit. And if it's outside, I'll look out the window", joked the left-hander, following a recent valve, devoid of acrimony, from his young compatriot: "There will be a small table in a corner", had declared the Texas.
Banned like the others from the PGA Tour, Watson returned his membership card and has no regrets. But he would still like to play the PNC Championship with his son Caleb, at the end of 2023. "As soon as I see (PGA Tour boss) Jay Monahan, I'll be begging him to let me play the PNC again.
I never took a dollar from the PNC. I couldn't play it with my dad, because he was missing, so I played it with my stepdad and gave it all to a children's hospital. I hope one day I can play it with my son. In the meantime, Caleb is going to take my bag to Augusta, so he's very happy. »