Bubba Watson was criticized for accepting money from the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund while he was playing in the Greg Norman-led LIV Golf Series.
The Telegraph reported that the two-time Masters champion had signed a $50 million contract with the upstart circuit.
Watson told ESPN LIV wasn’t the first league to offer guaranteed money.
He said, “It makes it laugh because on the PGA Tour I got paid behind closed door to show up at many tournaments, many tournaments.” “And if Bubba Watson isn’t the best, it means that the best were getting more and better than me. It’s guaranteed money. I make the cut but I still make money. I get the cut, and I make more money.”
ESPN reported Wednesday that it received a note from the PGA Tour stating it “prohibits payment of appearance money for players as an incentive to play in a specific tournament.”
The ESPN later states in the memo that it is aware that “certain tournament sponsors may contractual with a player for a sponsor-related event during tournament week for which they are paid nominal compensation.” This action is allowed under our guidelines.
Watson said that he would laugh at criticism because he and his colleagues had guaranteed money to show up at certain places. “Win or lose, quit, it doesn’t matter what, you still have the money. That’s what we all have done. All of us have been playing for guaranteed cash. It’s something we don’t want anyone to discuss on tour but it is happening.”
Watson spent nearly $50 million on golf courses during his time with PGA Tour.
Watson has not yet played in a LIV event because of injury. However, he is hopeful to return to the course in 2023. At September’s Boston stop, he made his first appearance in a Saudi-backed league.