DORAL, Fla. — Bubba Watson may not have been able to catch Bryson DeChambeau and Crushers GC at the LIV Golf team championship on Sunday, but a stellar final-round performance at Trump Doral Miami proved he’s still got the game to be a star in the future of the Saudi-backed league.
Watson shot 67 and his team, the pink-clad Range Goats, finished 9-under and two shots away from the team championship behind DeChambeau’s victorious Crushers GC.
Fifteen months after a meniscus surgery that kept him off the course in LIV Golf’s inaugural season and relegated him to an announcing role in last year’s team championship in Miami, Watson seems to have recaptured the free-swinging game that powered him to two victories at The Masters.
He threw two hands in the air and celebrated with LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman after sticking his approach shot inside three feet on his final hole, closing his round with a birdie.
“I’m excited. I went bogey-free on the Blue Monster,” Watson said. “The whole goal was to play solid golf and help the team. And I did.
“What a year. The Range Goats came out of nowhere. We played great and just have to improve a little bit.”
Watson, 44, featured in the day’s premier grouping with Crushers GC’s DeChambeau, Torque GC’s Joaquin Niemann and reigning champion Dustin Johnson of the 4Aces. The grouping drew the afternoon’s largest crowds.
Watson carded an eagle on No. 8 to briefly pull the Range Goats even with Crushers GC midway through the shotgun start round. DeChambeau quickly restored Crushers’ advantage and the Range Goats never pulled closer than a stroke the rest of the way.
His 67 was tied for the fourth-best individual round on Sunday, besting his previous season-high of 10th place at Tulsa in May. It was arguably Watson’s best performance since he shot 23-under and tied for fourth at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans on the PGA Tour in April 2022.
He was far from the premier performer in his first season playing with LIV Golf.
Watson finished the season 36th in LIV’s points standings. He was eight spots away from relegation, though he’s ineligible for such a fate as team captain.
“I’m the weak link right now on our team,” Watson said in press availabilities Thursday. “I’ve had some good rounds. I’ve had a…