Bubba Watson says he hopes the PGA Tour will allow a number of big names to compete in the 2022 Saudi International after the Tour revealed that it is yet to grant releases for its players to tee it up at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club in the first week of February.
The 2022 Saudi International will be sanctioned by the Asian Tour, which revealed a list of 20+ star names confirmed for the event including two-time winner Dustin Johnson as well as Bryson DeChambeau, Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott, Tyrrell Hatton and Tommy Fleetwood.
One of those names is Bubba Watson, who says he "can't wait to get over there," but admitted he is hoping the PGA Tour allows him and his peers to play.
"Yeah, it's one of those things where I love to travel and I wanted to travel somewhere else," Watson said after being named as a competitor at the 2022 Saudi International. "And Saudi Arabia, they're trying to change. They started with women's golf, started supporting the women's golf and then they started supporting men's golf. There's women's tournaments already that they sponsor. Trying to grow the game. They're trying to change industry over there, bring golf, bring tourism to Saudi Arabia with the beautiful beaches that they already have.
"It will be interesting to go over there and play, but also see the beauty of other parts of the world that God's created. I can't wait to get over there. Hopefully the Tour lets us go. Again, you know, the charity dollars is what's most important, so the more money I can get in my hands, the more I can give away. So it's an honour and a privilege if they let me go over there and play."
In a statement last month, the PGA Tour confirmed that it is yet to grant releases for the players. "We have not granted any conflicting-event releases for the Saudi International tournament," a spokesperson said. "Per PGA Tour regulations, a decision on conflicting-event releases can be made up until 30 days before the event's first round."
Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016. He graduated in Sports Journalism in 2016 and currently manages the Golf Monthly news, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He has also covered three Open Championships on-site including at Carnoustie in 2018 when he was inside the ropes with Tiger Woods. He has played 31 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Alwoodley. He currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats between 3-5. His golfing highlight is making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, and he has made one hole-in-one.
Elliott is currently playing:
Driver: Honma TR20
3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max
Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max
Irons: Mizuno MP5
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design
Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
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