'It's Not An Individual Sport Anymore' - Watson Explains LIV Golf Move

Speaking during the broadcast, Watson spoke primarily about the team aspect and his past experiences at the Ryder Cup

Watson hits a tee shot with a driver
(Image credit: Getty Images)

During the third event of the LIV Golf calendar, Bubba Watson was unveiled as the newest signing to the Saudi-backed series, with the two-time Masters champion putting pen to paper on a deal reported to be in the region of $50 million. 

Having not featured in a competitive event since May's PGA Championship due to a knee injury, Watson has slipped down the world rankings. However, he remains a prominent figure within the game and is expected to tee it up next year, when the LIV Golf League launches, as he continues his recovery from surgery.

Stating on Twitter that he will be a captain, the team aspect is something which the American is looking forward to, with Watson somewhat bizarrely stating that golf is "not an individual sport anymore."

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"When I think about the team atmosphere in 2016 at the Ryder Cup, I was number seven in the world, but I was an Assistant Captain and that was fun for me, I enjoyed it more than playing golf itself," stated Watson.

"For me to give some knowledge, to give encouragement, to help the team grow, to help the team get better and to try and win tournaments and try and grow the game on the back end, when you are talking about junior camps and what our teams can do together, it's a no brainer.

"My wife loved it, she loved the idea, we prayed about it, we came to the decision and here we are talking to you guys. Having people on your team, it's not an individual sport anymore, where you are out there trying to beat balls and figure out how you play the game by yourself.

"Now you have people who you can bump ideas off of. The atmosphere is another thing that we didn't have and now we are bringing it to the light, I've heard nothing but great things, everyone who I've talked to on the Tour said it's amazing and they were so excited that they've done it."

Watson at the 2016 Ryder Cup

Watson looks on at the 2016 Ryder Cup, USA would go on to win 17-11

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The move from Watson means that half of the players who featured on the Player Impact Program, a $40m prize pool shared between the top 10 players based on a range of metrics including global media attention, search engine traffic and social media engagement, have now joined LIV, with Watson, Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka all moving to the Saudi-backed series.

Not only did he feature in the PIP, but Watson is now the 11th Major champion on the LIV roster, as Norman continues to lure big names away from the traditional Tours. 

Recent recruits include Sweden's Henrik Stenson, who was stripped of the Ryder Cup captaincy for violating the terms of the contract he signed to lead Europe in the 2023 match in Rome.

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x