Beloved 2012 Masters champion Bubba Watson has decided to skip next week’s Players Championship, the PGA Tour’s marquee event, saying he wants to spend more time with his family after his whirlwind post-victory, week-long media tour (that he did mostly by choice). Two weeks before the Masters, Bubba and his wife Angie adopted their two-month-old son Caleb.
Watson made his disappointing announcement via his Twitter account in a series of tweets:
*”I’ve decided to pull out of the Players. I need to spend more time with Caleb and Angie, plan to take at least a month off
*”The Players is one of the best weeks of the year but bonding with my son and wife is what it is all about right now
*”Sorry to disappoint fans but the Players has one of the best fields all year, tourney is more than fine without me”
*”I feel blessed and excited that I get to spend quality time with Caleb and Angie in the next few weeks
*”I am lucky to play golf for a living, it allows me to pick my own schedule. I am blessed that I get to spend more #familytime”
“We respect Bubba’s decision in light of the unique and life-changing circumstances of the past month,” said PGA Tour spokesman Ty Votaw in a statement. “His focus on his family is admirable, as was his decision to honor his commitment to the Zurich Classic of New Orleans as defending champion. We look forward to having him back on the tour soon.”
Bubba played in last week’s Zurich Classic because he was the defending champion. He didn’t seem happy to be there and repeatedly
whined said he was “exhausted” and “tough trying to play golf today…I can’t hit a full swing yet. I knew I needed to be here being the defending champ for the local fans. So I’m here, but mentally I’m not here.”
Despite his exhaustion, he still finished T16 to keep his streak going — he hasn’t placed worse than 18th all year, which is darn good.
In other words, I’m only here because I have to be. He also withdrew from this week’s Wells Fargo Championship prior to yesterday’s announcement. Let’s just say I wasn’t shocked in the least. I’d heard chatter that Bubba didn’t want to play again until the U.S. Open, but obviously he couldn’t evade his commitment to Zurich. Then he has a charity event in Columbus during the Memorial, two weeks before the U.S. Open at Olympic.
On Tuesday, GolfDigest.com’s Alex Myers penned a candid and — to be honest — accurate column on Bubba, saying the Masters champ needed to toughen up. All I have to say: co-signed.
Look, I completely understand being exhausted from travel, the constant scrutiny, and just the general grind of life on the road. I get it. Add having a newborn, who you have to tend to when he wakes up crying at 3AM. Obviously, I don’t know what that’s like, but I can only imagine how tiring that is and I know how hard it is to be away from your friends and family. Bubba used the family card and that’s an “understandable” reason.
However, the Watsons now live in Orlando, Florida, which is merely a 2 hour, 44 minute drive to Ponte Vedra Beach, where The Players is held. Why not bring Angie and Caleb? That’s a win-win. Bubba can spend time with his family and not disappoint fans that were looking forward to seeing him play. Sure, the baby might wake up and he might be tired, but he can’t be the first Tour player to travel with a newborn.
Next time we’ll see Bubba peg it? In a month at the Memorial Tournament.