Bubba Watson is laughing.

The two-time Masters champ has mostly stayed out of the LIV Golf-PGA Tour war of words, but recently opened up over the animus his former colleagues have shown toward the new rival tour.

“It makes me laugh because on the PGA Tour, I got paid behind closed doors to show up at tournaments, many tournaments,” Watson told ESPN.com in a recent interview. “And if Bubba Watson’s not the best, that means the best were getting paid better than me and more than me. And so it’s guaranteed money. I miss the cut, I still make money. I make the cut, I make extra money.”

Watson’s point was in defense of PGA Tour players mocking LIV Golf’s setup, with defectors getting paid up to $100 million to join the Saudi-backed tour and guaranteed purses for each competitor in the 48-man fields.

The PGA Tour told ESPN that it “prohibits” players from getting paid money by sponsors as an “inducement” to enter a particular event. However, they do allow players to perform “sponsor-related activity during tournament week for which they receive nominal compensation.”

Bubba Watson at the PGA Championship on May 22, 2022.

“I’d laugh at [criticism] because we all had some guaranteed money to show up at places,” Watson said. “Win, lose, quit, whatever it is, you still got the money. We’ve all been doing that. We’ve all been playing for guaranteed money. The critics, it just makes me laugh because that’s what we’re doing. We don’t want to talk about it on tour, but we are getting it.”

It’s unclear if Watson is claiming that players are acting outside the rules or within a gray area with the sponsors. PGA Tour pro Kevin Kisner explained how it works from his perspective.

“I would not say that it’s an appearance fee as much as a relationship between the player and the title sponsor or the host organization,” Kisner told ESPN. “They’re trying to get more money in players’ hands through contracted appearances for tent visits or pro-ams away from the regular PGA Tour. It’s been going on forever.

Bubba Watson greets Bryson DeChambeau at an LIV Golf party.
Bubba Watson an LIV Golf event in Boston on Sept. 1, 2022.

“If Travelers wants to pay Bubba Watson to go do a tent visit, that has nothing to do with the PGA Tour. You don’t think Zurich in New Orleans is pressuring guys to play because they’re sponsoring them on their sleeves? That’s not an appearance fee. That’s an off-course endorsement that’s under contract. How many players does RBC have?”

Pat Perez could be the epitome of what PGA Tour players find so distasteful about LIV Golf. Perez was consistently among one of the worst players in the LIV Golf fields, but he was on Dustin Johnson’s 4 Aces squad that claimed the season-long team championship in Miami this past weekend. Perez’s mediocre play still netted him $8 million in winnings.

“Yeah, all the push-back, all the negative comments, everything we’ve gotten, at this point I really don’t care,” Perez told reporters. “I mean, I don’t care. I’m paid. I don’t give a damn.”