Bubba Watson named as a last-minute Ryder Cup vice-captain
The two-time Masters champion has played in the last three competitions07:54 Tuesday 27 September 2016, 7:54 27 Sep 2016
Despite just missing on qualifying for the team automatically, and being overlooked for a Captain's Pick, two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson has been named as a US Ryder Cup Vice-Captain.
Watson will join Tom Lehman, Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker and Tiger Woods as Davis Love's five assistants. The lateness of Watson's inclusion is not without precedence. In 2010, European captain Colin Montgomerie added Jose Maria Olazabal to his backroom team on the Saturday of the rain-effected event at Celtic Manor.
Speaking at the captain's joint press conference on Monday, Love revealed that Watson was a last-minute addition to the team.
"Bubba Watson obviously disappointed not to be on the team. But as our team has really bonded together over the last couple months, Bubba has offered a couple times to come and be one of our assistant captains, and I told him we had an extra red cart and we'd love to have him. So he's back at the hotel trying to get his clothes fit and get ready for assistant captain duties, much like Jim Furyk."
Despite the snub to not playing, Love admitted that Watson was desperate to be involved in the team some way or another at Hazeltine.
"But the first time I told Bubba, we've overlooked you with these first three [captain's picks], but hang in there, we have another pick coming. And then he offers, if you don't pick me, I would like to be assistant captain."
"And then I called him and told him that I was going a different direction again, and he immediately said, "I still want to be a part of this team, if you'll have me."
"Incredible gesture. When I told the team members and assistant captains that were there last night, we're still in disbelief. I mean, Bubba's back there changing from player clothes to assistant captain clothes right now. We have a bag with his name on it already made. We don't have gifts for him as assistant captain, but it was just an incredible gesture, and I think that shows where our team is. We have this "12 Strong" and we have this "We Are 13" slogans, but we've got an extra guy now."
In 2014, Watson was part of the American team that was first on the tee on the Friday morning fourballs with Webb Simpson. This Friday, he will be there too, but in his role on the sidelines.
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