Bay Hill: Masters champion Bubba Watson has withdrawn from this week`s Arnold Palmer Invitational after the death of a close friend.
Watson released a statement through the PGA Tour on Wednesday explaining his decision.
"I am sad to withdraw from the Arnold Palmer Invitational," the world number two said. "A close childhood friend of mine passed away unexpectedly last night.
"My thoughts and prayers are with his young family at this sad time. I have chosen to withdraw so I can attend the funeral and pay respect to my friend and his family."
Watson made an early exit from the Arnold Palmer-hosted tournament at Bay Hill last year, pulling out after a first-round 83 because of trouble with allergies.
His place in the tournament will be taken by Kevin Kisner, who will play in the first two rounds with Australian Adam Scott and American Brooks Koepka.