No Love for Bubba as cap­tain plans Ry­der Cup

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

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

Photo: AFP

Bubba Wat­son, a two-time Mas­ters cham­pion, has been left off the US Ry­der Cup team de­spite a record of suc­cess.

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