The reasons players have offered up for ditching the PGA Tour for the controversial, Saudi-backed LIV Golf have ranged from the blunt to the comical. from enormous sums of guaranteed money to the format’s shotgun starts. Bubba Watson offered up another one on Tuesday.
And it might be the most absurd of all.
“I had surgery, and my son is sitting with me in my bed, and how I signed up with LIV is my 10-year-old son was sitting in the bed with me, and we were watching golf on the TV, and he knew the Aces — everybody knows the Aces, they keep winning,” the two-time former Masters champ said from this week’s Saudi International on the DP World Tour. “He knew the Aces, he knew the Stingers. He didn’t know individual names, he just knew the team names, and for a 10-year-old to never watch the game of golf but now watches it, now I knew that there was a product to be had.
“My son is used to the Yankees. He’s used to the Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs. He’s used to watching teams, and that’s the one thing that golf — high school golf has a team, college golf has a team, and then one of the biggest events in the world is the Ryder Cup, and it’s a team event.”
The 4 Aces GC won five times last season and were captained by two-time major champ Dustin Johnson, who was joined by 2018 Masters winner Patrick Reed, Pat Perez and Talor Gooch. Among the victories was the season-ending team championship to take home $16 million in what was LIV’s inaugural season.
Putting that team in the same breath as some of the most iconic teams in sports history, however, is laughable.
The Cowboys have won five Super Bowls. The Yankees have won 27 World Series. The Chiefs have won two Super Bowls and will play in a third next month.
This also wasn’t the first time that Watson has ventured into the land of hyperbole in what many consider to be “sports washing” when it comes to LIV Golf.
Speaking about the Saudi International in December 2021, Watson said the tournament was trying to “grow the game” and “bring tourism to Saudi Arabia with the beautiful beaches they already have.” He also said he “couldn’t wait” to get over there.
Watson also once famously said that the only reason he plays in the British Open is because it’s a major championship.
Saudi Arabia has been widely accused of using LIV Golf and its entrance into other sports as a way to distract from its abhorrent human rights record. Even Phil Mickelson, the most notable player to jump to LIV, previously said the league was sports washing.
LIV, meanwhile, recently agreed on a broadcast deal with The CW network. It also recently announced its 2023 schedule, with the first event taking place in Mexico, Feb. 24-26.