Bubba Watson eyeing Masters return despite potentially awkward dinner amid LIV-PGA Tour feud
Things are sure to be awkward at Augusta National this spring.
Just look at how things went down between Patrick Reed and Rory McIlroy last week in Dubai.
Bubba Watson, however, insists he isn’t worried about any of that.
Watson is one of six different Masters winners who have since left the PGA Tour for the LIV Golf league — which will start its second season next month in Mexico. While Watson and other LIV Golf players are suspended from playing in Tour events, the Masters will still let LIV Golf players play in the first major championship of the year, should they qualify.
“I was very thankful that we get to go back to the Masters … I’ll get to Augusta as fast as I can,” Watson said Tuesday ahead of the PIF Saudi International.
Watson won 12 times in his career on Tour, including at The Masters in 2012. That will earn him — along with fellow LIV Golf members Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, Reed and Charl Schwartzel — a spot at the famed Champions dinner ahead of the tournament in April.
That, assuming the group attends, is sure to be at least a little tense. Defending champion Scottie Scheffler even joked last year that he’d sit Watson and others at a separate table.
“As long as I'm in the Champions Dinner, I'm fine,” Watson said, joking, on Tuesday. “I'll sit wherever he tells me. It's fine. As long as I'm allowed back, I'll sit wherever he wants me to. I'll sit outside and just stare in the window.”
People actually care about LIV Golf team names, apparently
One of the unique things that LIV Golf did to separate itself from the PGA Tour and others was to create a team competition.
While that didn’t necessarily catch on very well in its inaugural season, and was admittedly a bit confusing, Watson claims that the team names were one thing that finally convinced him to defect to the controversial startup.
His 10-year-old son, he said Tuesday, knew every single team name — which is something Watson said finally made him realize he should participate.
“He didn’t know individual names, he just knew team names,” Watson said. “For a 10-year-old to never watch the game of golf but now watches it, now I knew there was a product to be had. LIV has a niche, it has a reason.
“My son is used to the Yankees. He’s used to the Dallas Cowboys, the Kansas City Chiefs … When my 10-year-old never watches golf and now watches golf, and my 8-year-old daughter now understands the teams, she knows my new logo. My family was a part of making the new logo and new team colors. That’s what we’re trying to do.”