BEDMINSTER, NJ — LIV Golf now has a sixth Masters champion on its talent list.
After reports broke Wednesday nightA series of upstarts led by Greg Norman and backed by the Saudi Arabian Sovereign Investment Fund announced Bubba Watson as their newest player on Friday during the broadcast of the first round of the LIV Golf Invitational series at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster.
Watson has missed significant time this season with a torn meniscus and has not won since the 2018 Traveler Championship. The 43-year-old has since dropped to 86th in the official world golf rankings. Watson will not play this year due to injury and wants to “give 100%” before joining the league in 2023.
He joins the group of Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Charl Schwarzel, Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia as green jacket wearers who now play for LIV.
LIV Golf has long been criticized for the Kingdom’s attempt to launder its human rights record. Saudi Arabia has been accused of wide-ranging human rights violations, including politically motivated killings, torture, enforced disappearances and inhumane treatment of prisoners. And members of the Saudi royal family and government have been accused of being involved in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist.
“Yes, this is one of those places where I love to travel and I wanted to go somewhere else. And Saudi Arabia is trying to change. They started with women’s golf, they started supporting women’s golf, and then they started supporting men’s golf.” Watson said Golf Magic in 2021 regarding the Saudi international event. “Again, you know, dollars to charity is the most important thing, so the more money I can get my hands on, the more I can give away. So it’s an honor and a privilege if they let me go there and play.”