Bubba Watson withdraws from British Open following COVID-19 exposure

Bubba Watson will not compete at the British Open. 

The Florida native announced Sunday morning that he can not participate in the fourth and final major of the year because he was exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19. 

Watson added in his statement that he was vaccinated and had not tested positive for the coronavirus.

The British Open is operating under the strictest COVID-19 protocols of any of golf’s major tournaments. Players are required to be in their own bubbles for the event, regardless of vaccination, and are not allowed to go out in public to visit restaurants, pubs or grocery stores.

An anonymous player even recently told Golf Week that he considered not participating in the British Open because of the strict protocols.

“I’m going to go because it’s the British Open. But I certainly thought about not going,” he said. “I just can’t believe with the numerous examples of successfully run, safely held tournaments and majors here that they can’t figure out a better situation.”

Watson has 12 career PGA Tour wins, with Masters victories in 2012 and 2014. His best finish at the British Open is a tie for 23rd in 2012. 

Shane Lowry, a native of Ireland, is the defending British Open champion, winning the event in 2019. The tournament was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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