“Bubba Watson is on a mission to prove he is back to his best after eight months on the sidelines.

The American two-time Masters champion had to go under the knife last year to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee, and has been on the long road to recovery since.

As he prepares to tee it up at the Saudi International this week at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club, Watson is looking to make up for lost time, but is treading carefully — literally, with his playing LIV Golf debut looming.

“I shot 63 eight months ago at PGA Championship, so now I am trusting everything that I couldn’t do over the last eight months, trusting my skills, trusting my practice,” he said. “That’s a mental issue, not a physical issue.

“But it’s an exciting time in my life. Now I have this other adventure of a league [LIV], playing with three guys. It’s going to be fun.

“For me it’s a teaching moment where I can learn but also help three other guys, help a league develop and grow, help change the landscape of juniors playing the game of golf at a quicker level.

“It’s going to be fun. It’s exciting.

“I’m looking forward to travelling the world and growing the game. I’ve always been a part of growing the game. In my local community, I try and do as much as I can to grow the game of golf. If everybody on this tournament helped their local talent play the game of golf, young kids, our game would have some good growth and continue to grow over the years.”

Watson is also delighted to be back in Saudi, having been here in a non-playing role at the LIV Golf event n September.

“It’s unbelievable here,” he said. “The water just off of No. 16, I just want to go swim in it. It’s the blue — I can’t even explain the blue colour to it. It’s just amazing. I’ve talked about my family coming over here, my kids coming over here because I want them to experience the rest of the world.