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Bubba Watson officially joins LIV Golf, won’t play until 2023

May 22, 2022; Tulsa, OK, USA; Bubba Watson plays his shot from the seventh tee during the final round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Southern Hills Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson officially was introduced as the most recent member of LIV Golf Series on Friday.

The circuit announced the move during the first round of the tournament at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in New Jersey.

Watson, who won the Masters in 2012 and 2014, joins Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, Charl Schwartzel of South Africa and Sergio Garcia of Spain as current LIV Golf members who previously won the green jacket.

Watson, 43, has a torn meniscus and has not been active since late May, when he contended early at the PGA Championship but ended up finishing tied for 30th.

Watson is expected to serve as a non-playing captain at the next tournament, which is slated for Sept. 2-4 outside of Boston.

“My meniscus rehab continues, but I expect to be fully recovered and playing before the 2023 season starts,” Watson wrote on Twitter. “In the meantime, I’m working on plans for my team… new name, new logo and more to share when we kick things off next season! It’s gonna be fun and I’m looking forward to being a part of an exciting new concept in professional golf and seeing how it evolves.”

During LIV’s YouTube telecast, Watson revealed that he expects to hit balls in mid-October.

Watson, whose last win came in the 2018 Travelers Championship, has dropped to No. 86 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Prior to the move, Watson commented on his interest in LIV Golf despite the controversial nature surrounding its Saudi backers.

“They’re trying to change,” Watson said. “They started with women’s golf, started supporting the women’s golf (through a series of events on the Ladies European Tour) 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.”

–Field Level Media