Bubba Watson’s omission from Monday’s Ryder Cup wild-card picks has been the hottest topic in golf this week. How could the No. 7-ranked player in the world be left off the team? His fans want to know.
With one pick remaining, Watson still has a chance to be at Hazeltine. But will he be the 12th man chosen after the Tour Championship? And if not Bubba, then who? The answers depend on who you ask. Here’s what’s being said:
The Bubba Conundrum
Ron Green Jr., Global Golf Post
So what about Bubba? There’s a very good chance he’ll be left off the team because if there was a ‘must have’ player then Love would have named him on Monday.
That’s not to say Watson will be left off but he doesn’t have a top-10 finish since March, he can lapse into funks on the course and he’s 0-3 in Ryder Cup singles. On the other hand, when Watson is on, he can be brilliant and the U.S. Ryder Cup team has tended to lack brilliance. Read more from Ron Green Jr.
Why Not Bubba?
Brandel Chamblee, Golf Channel
Statistically, Bubba would be the worst putter on the team. He’s almost the worst putter on the PGA Tour. I couldn’t imagine making that pick. I would go more with a Ryan Moore, who’s got a wonderful history in match play. Or I would look towards youth and power and form in a Daniel Berger. I really wouldn’t be looking anywhere else besides those two players unless something pretty surprising happened at the Tour Championship.
Lee Westwood, a European Ryder Cup Veteran:
You hear Davis talk about chemistry and how players are going to be in a team setting, so when he leaves out someone ranked so highly it does seem like it’s because the captain can’t see where he fits in, with regard to pairings and stuff like that.
Shane Ryan, Golf Digest
Moments after Davis Love III announced his Ryder Cup captain’s picks Monday morning…..one name was on everyone’s lips: Bubba Watson. Love’s conservative choices—J.B. Holmes, Rickie Fowler and Matt Kuchar—added the 10th, 11th, and 12th-place finishers in the Ryder Cup standings to the U.S. team, bringing a dose of relief to three players who had suffered near-misses. But the ninth-place finisher, and the seventh-ranked golfer in the world, was nowhere to be found.
Speculation ran rampant—would he get the final pick in two weeks? The argument I’d like to put forth is that no, he will not, and that we don’t have to speculate at all. For those who were really listening, Love already told us that Bubba is not part of his plans. Read Full Article
Why Say Yes to Bubba?
Bob Harig, ESPN
Unless Daniel Berger, Ryan Moore or Justin Thomas wins the Tour Championship, the guess here is it will be Bubba Watson. It’s an easy pick, as he’s ranked seventh in the world and was the next player on the points list. Plus, unfortunately, the PGA of America put its captain in a bind by decreeing he announce his last pick during halftime of a nationally televised NFL game. It’s not exactly the time to announce a no-name player to those outside the golf world.
Ewan Murray, The Guardian (U.K.)
This may be irrelevant to Love in the cold reality of having to win but it is also difficult to argue against the Ryder Cup being a better scene for Watson’s involvement. He brings colour and attention. With pink driver and extroverted style, Watson is actually an individual who is valuable for the promotion of this sport. He is instantly recognisable.
Randall Mell, Golf Channel
Who should get the pick? Bubba Watson ought to get it purely on merit. He’s the third highest ranked American in the world, a winner at the Northern Trust earlier this year who also has won two majors in his career, two more than the three captain’s picks named Monday. Watson was ninth in the U.S. Ryder Cup standings, and Love can go straight chalk if he adds Watson to captain’s picks J.B. Holmes (No. 10 in the Ryder Cup standings), Fowler (No. 11) and Matt Kuchar (No. 12).
It’s more than apparent, though, that Watson may not fit a team built for comfort.
If not Bubba, then Who?
Michael Collins, ESPN.com
If Justin Thomas finishes inside the top five, he’s in. If not, it’s Bubba Watson. U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III saying he’s looking toward the future. That takes out Ryan Moore. Daniel Berger wasn’t on the SB2K16 vacation. The decision was made easy by leaving out Watson in the first round of picks because Scott Piercy and Bill Haas, who were high on the Ryder Cup points list, didn’t make the Tour Championship field.
Kyle Porter, CBS.com
Justin Thomas. Yeah, Justin Thomas. I said it. Here’s the thing about Thomas: He’s the future of American golf along with guys like Spieth, Koepka, Fowler and Reed. These guys are next up in a long string that has made up the most elite golfing country over the past century. That’s a big deal, and with just one rookie on the team, you can afford to take a bit of a chance on another one.
Rex Hoggard, Golf Channel
Who should get the pick is a more compelling question. Daniel Berger is an oft-mentioned candidate, as is Justin Thomas; but the player who has shown the best form lately is Ryan Moore.
Moore won the John Deere Classic last month and started the playoffs with back-to-back top-10 finishes at The Barclays and the Deutsche Bank Championship. He may not get the pick, but he deserves it.
Other Golf Channel writers share varying opinions. Read Full Article
Let’s close this out with a final thought from the only man who truly knows — and he’s not giving much away.
Davis Love III, U.S. Ryder Cup Captain
I’m going to talk to these 11 guys now that we have 11; we’ve got a game plan, a strategy, and we’re going to work on that the next two weeks and announce our pick next Sunday night based on what fits best for our team, not really who shoots the lowest scores in the last tournament.