Watson: I was so bored my wife gave me a pass to play
Double Masters champion Bubba Watson will rely on some old equipment as he looks to halt his slide down the world rankings with a return to form in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
Watson reached a career-high of second in the world in February 2015 but has since slumped to his current ranking of 63rd, with just two top-10 finishes this season.
The left-hander starts his 2017-18 campaign in Las Vegas this week and will do so using a Titleist ball after confirming that his deal with Volvik had come to an early end.
"I do not have a ball deal as we sit here today," Watson told a pre-tournament press conference. "So I can play with whatever ball I want to. I'm just going to go back to what I grew up with."
Volvik announced in January that Watson had signed "a multi-year deal" to play and endorse the company's line of "extreme performance golf balls," but the deal has lasted less than 12 months. Watson was 75th in the FedEx Cup points race for 2016-17.
"My goals are to be better than that," he added. "It was a frustrating year when it came to the golf. It was a great year off the course, but a frustrating year (on it). Hopefully I'll improve that.
"I was supposed to take four months off, my wife had knee surgery. The whole goal was to be a stay-at-home dad and help her out.
"I was so bored, I wanted to play golf, and there was no better place than to come here and play golf. And she gave me a free pass to come out here."
Watson also revealed that he was motivated to play in Las Vegas following the recent mass shooting which left 58 people dead and more than 500 people wounded.
Seamus Power is back in action after his 18th-place finish at the Sanderson Farms Championship last weekend. Graeme McDowell is also in action in Las Vegas.
- Shriners Open, Live, Sky Sports Golf, 8.30pm