DORAL, Fla. — For most of LIV Golf’s inaugural season Bubba Watson was a non-playing captain.
The two-time Masters champion joined the upstart circuit as a non-playing captain during the third event of the inaugural season at Trump National Bedminster in New Jersey as he continued to rehab a torn meniscus. Watson said he wanted to be 100 percent healthy before teeing it up for LIV in 2023, where he’s earned just three top-20 finishes in 13 starts. Don’t forget LIV events only feature 48 players.
Despite being just a year into his role as a playing captain, Watson is already contemplating the future and returning to a non-playing role for his RangeGoats GC.
“Truthfully at some point, down the road, I want to keep playing. But at some point, I’m going to back away,” said Watson ahead of this week’s LIV Golf Team Championship at Trump National Doral. “I’m going to be that owner shows up to the tournaments, cheers the guys on, get the younger crowd in, better golfers. I’ve told myself since the start, if you don’t think I’m good enough, then let’s get somebody better. Put them in there and I’ll just sit out. I’ll cheer you on from the other side of the ropes. I’ll sit in the air conditioned box and watch y’all play golf in the heat.
“It’s one of those things, that I want to play golf and I want to compete but at some point age is going to win. Age always wins,” he continued. “At that point, I’m hoping that my team comes to me with arms open and we hug it out and we find somebody younger and better, stronger, faster, all those things.”
Watson finished the season 36th on LIV’s points list, eight spots and eight points from the relegation zone (though as a captain Watson is guaranteed a spot for next season). He’s been open all season that he’s been the weakest link on his team that includes individual season-long champion Talor Gooch, Harold Varner III and Thomas Pieters. At the Team Championship, captains play captains in the match play quarterfinals and semifinals. Despite Watson claiming he still wants to play, that doesn’t necessarily mean he wants to play other captains.
“Right now, the league is dictating captains play against captains … Like I would rather we could pick and choose. Put Talor out first, right, he’s played pretty good this year. That’s the one thing in the League that I wish we could change just so that if DJ called us out, I could put him against Talor, you know what I’m…