Ryder Cup 2016
Sep 27th, 2016
Bubba Watson Named US Ryder Cup Vice-Captain
But did they really want him?
Words: Daniel Owen
Bubba Watson has been named as the 5th Team USA Ryder Cup Vice-Captain. Despite not being picked for the team, Bubba wanted to help where he could.
"I want to be a part of the team. I sent a text that said, 'Can I be assistant captain if you don't pick me?' So I put it out there. I want to be a part of the team no matter what."
Davis Love explained the decision at the first press conference of the week. It effectively gives the American team a chief cheerleader, a rebel rouser to help keep the buzz up. If used correctly he can be the equivalent to Ian Poulter. And it’s clear they both get how the Ryder Cup is different to every other week in golf.
"Bubba was obviously disappointed not to be on the team. But as our team has really bonded together over the last couple months, Bubba has offered a couple times to come and be one of our assistant captains, and I told him we had an extra red cart and we'd love to have him.
"The first time I told Bubba, 'we've overlooked you with these first three, but hang in there, we have another pick coming', he offered to be an assistant captain before he even played The Tour Championship. Then he went out and played a great week of golf, seven under par I think.
"But then I called him and told him that I was going in a different direction again, and he immediately said, 'I still want to be a part of this team, if you'll have me.' Incredible gesture, and when I told the team members and assistant captains that were there last night, we're still in disbelief.
“We're excited to have him. He adds a guy to drive our sixth red golf cart and be supportive, he adds a lot of fun, he adds a different personality. We're just thrilled to have him. It's going to be a lot of fun.”
You’re not exactly bigging up the role their Davis. You had a spare red golf cart, and you wanted a driver? Hardly a glowing endorsement. Are you still in "disbelief" because you thought you'd done enough to not have him involved this week?
Bubba has not had a great season, and not played anywhere like his best in the final run in so despite his world ranking, I don't think there is anyone who could really argue that he should have been picked. Not if the Billy Horschel rule was going to be used how it was intended anyway.
"We waited until the last minute to catch a hot player and Ryan, week after week after week, was the hottest player since the PGA Championship, and even before. He's been the most consistent in all of the statistics, obviously a win as well, and he's just been right there at the forefront for us.
"It was obviously a very, very difficult decision between the last four guys we watched, and frankly, I didn't think it was going to come down to the last day of The Tour Championship. I was, of course, completely wrong, just because we had so many guys playing well.”
Will Bubba be the difference maker who helps get the crowd on side, or will his presence disrupt the status quo and be more of a hindrance than a hep?