By Tony Jimenez
CHASKA, Minnesota (Reuters) – Among Bubba Watson’s goals is to one day be a Ryder Cup captain and, if his friend Rickie Fowler is any guide, this week has already given the double U.S. Masters champion a good insight into what it takes.
Watson pleaded for a spot in the backroom team as a vice-captain as soon as he lost out to Ryan Moore as American skipper Davis Love III’s fourth and final wildcard pick on Sunday. The request was accepted.
However, it quickly became apparent on the first day of official practice at Hazeltine National on Tuesday that there is more to being a Ryder Cup deputy than meets the eye.
“I feel like his dream would be to be a captain down the road and being here, just having that earpiece in his ear, he might not be able to last very good with it in,” a grinning Fowler told reporters.
“He said, ‘Man, I didn’t know all this went into taking care of all you guys … there’s a lot of chatter going on.'”
Watson, who won the 2012 and 2014 Masters, was last year voted among the least popular players on the PGA Tour.
In an anonymous ESPN.com poll, 23 percent of professionals said they would not help the American if he was involved in a car park fight.
Fowler, though, describes world number seven Watson as “one of my best friends”.
“It was really cool of him to make that decision to fly here and be a part of the team this week,” said Fowler, one of three separate wildcard selections Love made two weeks ago.
“Picks are picks and it’s not always nine, 10, 11, 12 (on the qualifying points list) that are picked.
“I think it shows a lot about who Bubba is. People may not always see that side of him.
“We’ve spent a lot of time together, I’ve always seen that side of him but hopefully this shows some people that’s part of who he is,” said Fowler.
Holders Europe begin their bid on Friday to win the Ryder Cup for the fourth edition in a row.
(Editing by Andrew Both)