Bubba Watson, who has sported Travis Mathew camouflage couture and went pink and white for the Masters Tournament in April, will leave the clothier he’s been associated with for three years and join Ryder Cup teammate Zach Johnson at Oakley starting tomorrow.
Leif Sunderland, who worked on inside marketing with Watson for Travis Mathew, confirmed the move Monday afternoon. Despite Twitter chatter that the rift occurred because of some sort of "controversial" photo Watson tweeted from Kapalua -- where he'll play in this week's PGA Tour season-opening Tournament of Champions -- Sunderland said the change had been in the works for some time.
"The photo was nothing major and did not cause a split," Sunderland said via e-mail. "Bubba's contract with TM expires after this year and will not be working together in 2013. We were receiving inquiries re. this after Bubba posted a photo not wearing Travis Mathew so we felt it necessary to clear up the confusion for our fans."
Travis Mathew release Dec. 31 2012 twitter.com/TRAVISMATHEW/s…— Travis Mathew(@TRAVISMATHEW) December 31, 2012
Sunderland declined to comment on reports that Watson has had a financial stake in Travis Mathew, which teamed with the big-hitting lefty to raise funds for various charities by selling limited editions of Bubba wear. A player leaving a company in which he holds part ownership would not be unique; Ryan Moore signed with Adams Golf a year after buying into Scratch Golf.
Meanwhile, Oakley, which will reportedly lose Rory McIlroy to Nike as of January 1, must be pleased with its big catch. Travis Mathew will announce its new lineup of golfers starting January 4.