Bubba Watson decides to skip Players Championship

Bubba Watson has decided to skip The Players Championship to

spend time with his family, making this the second time in five

years that the Masters champion has not played in the PGA Tour’s

flagship tournament.

Watson announced his decision Thursday afternoon on Twitter,

saying he needed to spend more time with his wife, Angie, and the

2-month-old son they adopted just two weeks before he captured his

first major at Augusta National.

”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,” Watson

tweeted.

Watson played two weeks after his Masters victory in New Orleans

because he was the defending champion. He pulled out of the Wells

Fargo Championship this week, and along with not being at The

Players, said he planned to take at least a month off.

”Sorry to disappoint fans but the Players has one of the best

fields all year, tourney is more than fine without me,” Watson

said in another tweet. He added that he was lucky to play golf for

a living and that it allowed him to set his own work schedule.

The Players Championship has the largest purse in golf and

typically attracts the strongest and deepest field of the year. But

this is the second straight year that a player who won’t be at the

TPC Sawgrass is attracting attention. A year ago, Rory McIlroy and

Lee Westwood opted not to play. They were not PGA Tour members at

the time.

Watson talked in New Orleans about not having as much time with

his new son since returning from Augusta National and a media tour

in New York.

”We respect Bubba’s decision in light of the unique and

life-changing circumstances of the past month,” PGA Tour spokesman

Ty Votaw said 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.”

Trevor Immelman never teed off in The Players Championship in

2008 after winning the Masters. He became ill on the eve of the

tournament and returned home to Orlando.