NEW YORK: Two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson says he is praying to be allowed back at Augusta National after jumping from the PGA Tour to LIV Golf, but is prepared for any ban.

Watson, sidelined by a knee injury, was among ex-PGA newcomers to the Saudi-backed LIV series speaking Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) ahead of the event starting Friday at The International course in Bolton, Massachusetts.

LIV Golf's record $25 million purses have helped lure 26 of the world's 100 top players to the circuit.

But players who leave for LIV Golf have been banned indefinitely by the PGA Tour and while LIV players were allowed in this year's US and British Opens, there is no guarantee they will be allowed in majors going forward, even at events where past champions typically get long-term starting spots.

"It's a weird situation, being a Masters champion," Watson said. "Augusta, right now, we can play in it, and I'm hoping, and praying, that they make the right decisions and past champions [can play].

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"If they tell me that I can't go, being a past champion, then I don't want to be there anyway because that's just the wrong way to look at it."

Chile's Joaquin Niemann, who shared 11th at last week's PGA Tour Championship, said he had no regrets about his decision, even if it means he would not play in more majors.