No Love for Bubba as captain plans Ryder Cup
TWO-TIME major winner Bubba Watson missed out as United States captain Davis Love III named three of his four captain’s picks for the Ryder Cup on September 12.
World number seven Watson, the 2012 and 2014 Masters champion, was overlooked in favour of Rickie Fowler, Matt Kuchar and JB Holmes.
Love, who has one more pick remaining, is aiming to mastermind a US victory at Hazeltine in Minnesota from September 30 to October 2 after three straight wins for Europe in the biennial battle.
All three players named by Love on September 12 have an inferior world ranking to Watson – Fowler is ranked ninth, Kuchar 17th and Holmes 21st.
Love told a news conference he had focused on finding the right blend of players rather than relying on rankings or form.
And he warned that even if the unpopular Watson were to enjoy a stellar finish to the season’s Tour Championship it might not be enough to force his way onto the team.
“We’ve looked at a lot of guys in the Tour Championship and guys that aren’t,” Love said.
“We’ve got a long two weeks ahead of us. I’m going announce our last pick based on what fits best for our team, not who shoots the lowest score in the last tournament.”
Watson is one of the most polarising figures on the USPGA Tour. In an ESPN poll last year, Watson came out on top when 103 players were asked which fellow professional they would be least likeliest to help out if they saw them in a parking lot brawl.
Love, meanwhile, said he and his vice captains had agonised until late on September 11 before deciding on the three picks announced the next day.
“We went through a lot of scenarios and talked about a lot of great players,” he said.
“It was a very tough decision. But we kept coming back to these three for now. We were really close two weeks ago but it took us to last night to finish it off.”
Love said the US team were intent on learning from past mistakes, and believed the experience of his squad would stand them in good stead.
“We looked at adding to our team to build the best 11 that we could,” Love said. “Experience is good. We know what to expect. We know how to handle it. We’ve been there, we’re going to learn from our mistakes in the past and build on it.
“We’ve had a plan for a year and a half and that’s part of it. We know what happened in the past. We’re looking to the future now.”
Love meanwhile revealed that former world number one Tiger Woods, who is hoping to come back from a more than one-year injury lay-off next month, had provided crucial input as one of the four vice-captains.
“Tiger looks at things from maybe a higher viewpoint than us sometimes,” Love said.
“He’s helping us prepare and to think about the golf course. A lot of people would look at the scorecard and say, ‘It’s a long course, we need big hitters’. Tiger looks at it a lot differently.
“Tiger over the past two to three weeks has made us think really hard not only about pairings but about other things that we need to look for in our players.” –
‘We’ve got a long two weeks ahead of us. I’m going announce our last pick based on what fits best for our team, not who shoots the lowest score in the last tournament.’
Davis Love III US Ryder Cup captain
Bubba Watson, a two-time Masters champion, has been left off the US Ryder Cup team despite a record of success.