ATLANTA – What to do with Bubba Watson?
That may be the most intriguing question hanging over the remaining captain’s pick U.S. leader Davis Love III must make before the Ryder Cup begins next week.
Watson is the seventh-ranked player in the world but, to this point anyway, is not on the U.S. Ryder Cup team.
Will he be the final player Love adds to the U.S. roster? The announcement will be made Sunday night at halftime of the Chicago Bears-Dallas Cowboys game so it may be 10:30 p.m. EDT before the world knows.
If Watson doesn’t get picked, what does that say about him?
“I couldn’t imagine being in his position, wondering why at (number) seven in the world. So it’s an awkward position to be in,” Jordan Spieth said.
Watson was one of the ‘hopefuls’ who joined several members of the U.S. Ryder Cup team at Hazeltine Sunday and Monday, getting a sense of the place. Justin Thomas, Daniel Berger and Jim Furyk were also there and still alive in the 12th man discussion.
Spieth played a practice round with Watson, Thomas, Berger and Furyk and they were playing ‘Wolf,’ where one player is designated the wolf and has the option of playing alone against the other three or select a partner.
On the 18th hole, Watson was the wolf and played alone. Three players were inside him on the final green when Watson buried a long putt that won the hole when the others missed.
“He was in great spirits. We had a great time. I just told him when I saw him today, ‘Man, yesterday was a lot of fun,’” Spieth said.
“You don’t get to play those types of games that you play at home with the best players in the world. You play little matches here and there, but you don’t get to play like a wolf game or something like that. I love that. We had a great time with it.
“He didn’t seem upset about anything. He didn’t seem like he was entitled to any position or any advantage over anybody else. I think he really feels like he needs to go do his job this week.”
Spieth has one request regarding Watson – he hopes he won’t be inundated with questions about his Ryder Cup status this week. Even Spieth knows that’s asking a lot.
“The more he’s questioned about it, the more potential for that to bother him, which I hope he’s not pestered with it all week. I hope he’s freed up,” Spieth said.