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September 25, 2017

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Watson to skip over Players in order to bond with new son

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Florida -- Masters champion Bubba Watson will skip the U.S. PGA Tour's flagship Players Championship to spend time with his family.

Watson announced his decision on Thursday on Twitter, saying he wanted to be at home with his wife, Angie, and the two-month-old son they adopted two weeks before the Masters.

"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 in New Orleans two weeks after his Masters victory because he was the defending champion.

He then withdrew from this week's tournament at Quail Hollow. He 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 tweeted, adding that he felt lucky that his pro golfing career allowed him to set his own schedule.

The US$9.5 million purse of the Players Championship is the largest in golf and the tournament at TPC Sawgrass attracts strong, deep fields.

Last year, however, Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood elected not to play. Neither was a U.S. tour member at the time.

"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."

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