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Bubba Watson claims LIV’s team format drove him there, will attract younger viewers

Watson compared the four-person LIV Golf teams to the Dallas Cowboys in press conference.

PIF Saudi International - Previews Photo by Luke Walker/WME IMG/WME IMG via Getty Images

Two-time Masters champion and longtime PGA TOUR mainstay Bubba Watson defected to join LIV Golf back in July 2022, and explained his reasoning for joining the Saudi-backed league in a press conference on Wednesday. His explanation raised some eyebrows, to say the least.

“How I signed up with LIV is my 10-year-old son was sitting in the bed with me, and we were watching golf on the TV, and he knew the Aces — everybody knows the Aces, they keep winning,” he said. “He knew the Aces, he knew the Stingers. He didn’t know individual names, he just knew the team names, and for a 10-year-old to never watch the game of golf but now watches it, now I knew that there was a product to be had.”

LIV Golf does have teams and team competitions, but the main event remains the individual competition. There is no four-ball or foursomes format involved in the team play — the teams simply add up their scores at the end of each tournament to determine who takes home a $5 million bonus in addition to the much larger individual purse.

But Watson actually took it further, comparing the 4 Aces (who, though his son apparently doesn’t know anyone’s names, are made up of Dustin Johnson, Talor Gooch, Pat Perez, and Patrick Reed) to the Dallas Cowboys and the Kansas City Chiefs.

“My son is used to the Yankees. He’s used to the Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs. He’s used to watching teams, and that’s the one thing that golf — high school golf has a team, college golf has a team, and then one of the biggest events in the world is the Ryder Cup, and it’s a team event,” Watson continued.” Now that professional golf has a team, we’re going to be able to get the below-60-year-olds watching Golf Channel to the 10-year-olds now wanting to watch.”

To make the claim that fans of a football or baseball team do not know or root for any of the individual players on said team is a very interesting take. Watson is certainly leaning on the LIV Golf “grow the game” narrative with his argument that younger fans will want to watch the sport played in the exact same way that it has always been played, but with team points being added up at the end of the weekend for extra money.

Watson’s comments have drawn plenty of mockery on social media, and many commenters are skeptical that this event with his son actually occurred — especially since Watson appeared in a promotional video for LIV two months before he publicly announced joining the league.