Bubba Watson and longtime caddie Ted Scott were a seemingly bulletproof partnership, with Watson winning two Masters and 10 PGA Tour events during their 15-year tenure, despite weathering some public on-course dust-ups.
That’s why it came as such a surprise when, last September, Watson announced that the two were going their separate ways at the end of the season. Scott ended up taking over the bag for Scottie Scheffler, while Watson has employed Gabe Sauer.
Watson emphasized his love and gratitude for Scott when he announced their separation on social media, but many wondered what the reason for the parting could be. After signing for a final-round 71 on Sunday at Augusta National, Watson finally revealed his surprising rationale.
“I have no regrets, and I don’t think he does either,” Watson said. “[Scott] has made more money now without me. He needed ten more years. I haven’t told anybody, but I had some struggles this offseason. Wrote a book about some struggles. My wrist, I had a wrist injury all last year. Had some PRP.
“So I called him and told him. I said, look, man, I’m 43 years old. I don’t know what I’m going to do. My wrist is killing me. He is like he needs ten more years, and I gave him — I felt like a nice retirement package when we split up, but we split up mutually.”
Watson said that he and Scott are friends who still text each other, hang out and play practice rounds together, but his own unknowns prevented him from committing to Scott.
“I can’t tell him what I’m going to do in ten years. I can’t tell you what I’m going to do in six months,” Watson said. “He needed ten years for his own personal retirement and things going on in his life, and so we just split up. No big deal.”
Watson said that he’s thrilled that Scott not only has a lucrative new gig with Scheffler, but also that Scheffler, whom he also considers a friend, will have the chance to learn from Scott like Watson did.
“I want nothing more than these young guys to be better than me, right?” Watson said. “Just like I’m trying to teach my kids to be better than me. Not in golf, but in life.”
“[Scott] has made more money, so now I guess he’s happy he left,” Watson added.
As for the status of Watson’s wrist, he says he isn’t sure how he hurt it, but suspects it was “bad golf.”
“I made the cut [at the Masters],” he said. “So I’m good.”