Bubba Watson On Potential LIV Golf Masters Bans

The two-time Masters winner has said if he can't compete at Augusta National he doesn't want to be there

Bubba Watson talks to the media ahead of the Boston leg of the LIV Golf Invitational Series
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Bubba Watson makes his debut on the LIV Golf Invitational Series this week as a non-playing captain as he continues to recover from a knee injury that has kept him out since May’s PGA Championship.

However, while he’s not been in action since the second Major of the year, it is another – The Masters – that Watson hopes to be able to play in the future, despite his move to the Saudi-backed venture.

Video: What Is LIV Golf?

The American has won the tournament twice, in 2012 and 2014 and previous champions have a lifetime exemption to play in the Augusta National event. However, speaking ahead of this week's Boston event, when asked if he was concerned about being able to play in future Majors, Watson explained that he’s hopeful the rules won’t be changed to omit LIV Golf players from The Masters. 

He said: “Yeah, for me, it's a weird situation, being a Masters Champion. I sat my kids down and I told them that their favourite tournament in the world is obviously Travelers Championship, so can't play there. But now, Augusta, right now, we can play in it, and I'm hoping, and praying, that they make the right decisions and past champions and people, we can all start playing.”

Nevertheless, Watson explained that any refusal to allow him to tee it up in future Masters tournaments would not go down well with him. He continued: “I told my kids that there is a chance, there is a possibility, that we can't go to Augusta. And I told them, if they tell me that I can't go, being a past champion, then I don't want to be there anyway because that's just - that's just the wrong way to look at it. It's the game of golf. We are all trying to be the best players.”

While Watson clearly has some doubts over his Masters future, he’s hopeful that there will be some way to eventually bring the game’s best players together for tournaments outside the Majors. He said: "There's tours all around the world and somehow it's OK for these tours to operate but when you come operate in the US it makes it a little different. So yeah, I would love that there's a way to figure out a way all of us work together or at least play LIV against PGA Tour.”

As for the present, Watson thinks despite his LIV Golf switch, he shouldn’t be restricted from playing anywhere. He said: “I can play whatever I want to play in. Obviously there's other organisations that say I can't play. But yeah, I mean, how would I not want to play at Travelers and be a part of that? My family - it's near and dear to my heart. That's the only tournament my dad watched me win. Passed away three months later in 2010. LIV is not holding me back from playing any tournament. You know, it's other organisations that say stuff.”

Watson will be the non-playing captain of Niblicks GC in his Series debut in Boston, which begins on Friday.

Mike Hall

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.