Golf

Bubba Watson out of The Open after covid case exposure

Bubba Watson said he would not mind a storm brewing up at The Open as he watches the tournament unfold from home after a covid contact.

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Bubba Watson out of The Open after COVID case exposure

Two-time former Masters champion Bubba Watson has withdrawn from the Open Championship.

Watson, who finished sixth last week at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, said he had come into contact with somebody who has been confirmed as having the covid-19 virus.

The 42-year-old must therefore stay at home in the United States rather than travel to England for the major, which begins at Royal St George's in Kent on Thursday.

Watson: "I look forward to watching the Open Championship on TV"

Watson posted a statement to his social media accounts that read: "I am disappointed to announce I will not compete at the Open Championship next week due to having direct exposure to someone who has tested positive for covid-19.

"While I am vaccinated and have passed the required pre-travel covid test, not enough time has passed for me to comfortably join the charter flight and risk exposure to the other players and personnel on board."

He added: "Like many of you, I look forward to watching the Open Championship on TV. Since I will be watching from the comfort of my couch I would not mind seeing the field have to deal with a little rain and strong winds!

"Best of luck to all the players. I look forward to returning to the Open Championship next year."

Watson won the Masters in 2012 and 2014 but has often struggled at The Open, which is the only one of the four majors at which he has failed to register a top-five finish. Indeed, his best performance has been a tie for 23rd place at the 2012 tournament.