Bubba named US assistant captain

2016-09-27 07:20
Bubba Watson (AFP)

Chaska - Two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson will get to be part of the US Ryder Cup team after all, even though the seventh-ranked star was not selected as a captain's pick.

US captain Davis Love named Watson an assistant captain on Monday, four days before the Americans face holders Europe in the 41st edition of the biennial men's golf team matches at Hazeltine.

Watson was among the final selections for the last US captain's selection that was given Sunday to first-time Cup starter Ryan Moore hours after he finished second in a playoff to Rory McIlroy at the Tour Championship.

Love said that just after he told Watson that he was not selecting him to play, Watson volunteered to help the cause in order to be part of the group they hope will win back the trophy after three losses in a row.

"He said, 'I still want to be a part of this team if you'll have me,'" Love said of Watson. "We're still in disbelief. It was an incredible gesture."

While some critics worried Watson could be a disruptive figure on the US squad, Love said nothing of the sort was true.

"He adds a lot of fun, a different personality," Love said. "He brings a great heart. We're thrilled to have him on this team."

Watson joins a US assistant captain line-up that includes Tiger Woods, two weeks shy of his planned return after more than a year off following back surgery, Jim Furyk, Tom Lehman and Steve Stricker.

"We've got quite an interesting group," Love said. "We felt like we needed some experience. Obviously Bubba rounds that out - major championship experience, Ryder Cup experience - on our side."

In three Ryder Cup appearances as a player in 2010, 2012 and 2014, Watson went 3-8, winless in three singles matches and two alternate shot foursomes matches but 3-3 in four-ball.

Love had made a point of telling Watson, who narrowly missed out on an automatic berth, after the first three picks were made early this month that he had one more selection remaining, then gave that to Moore.

"We had a lot of guys that were really close," Love said. "It was a tough decision. We waited until the last minute to catch a hot player. Ryan week after week was the hottest player since the PGA Championship. He has just been right there at the forefront for us."

In addition to his battle with McIlroy on Sunday, Moore won last month's John Deere Classic. Watson won the most recent of his nine US PGA titles, including the 2012 and 2014 Masters, last February at Riviera.

Read more on:    ryder cup  |  bubba watson  |  golf

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Which is your favourite event on the golfing calendar?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.