You know the dastardly media. They always can find a way to turn 1 plus 1 into 3. Bubba Watson is the seventh-ranked player in the world, and third-highest-ranked American, behind only Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth. But Watson has yet to receive a call from U.S. captain Davis Love III that he will part of next week’s Ryder Cup.
The omission has led some media types to construe that Watson, a two-time major winner who certainly marches to his own drummer, is not a very good team guy. That he wouldn’t be right, for chemistry reasons. Brandt Snedeker, a member of the U.S. team, wishes to dispel that notion. And there was plenty of passion in his voice as Snedeker spoke about Watson on Wednesday morning at East Lake Golf Club, site of this week’s Tour Championship.
“I don’t know where everybody gets this idea that Bubba Watson is a bad teammate,” said Snedeker, a teammate of Watson’s in the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup. “He is probably one of the best teammates you could possibly have. I want that out there for everybody to hear. Bubba Watson is a great teammate. So I don’t know why everybody keeps making this diversion of the truth, making Bubba out to be this bad guy. He is a great teammate.
“He was unbelievable on Monday (at Hazeltine, when several U.S. team members and prospective team members practiced). He’s been unbelievable all year. And we would be lucky to have him on the team as a teammate. Period, end of story.”
Billy Harmon, whose brother, Butch, is Snedeker’s swing coach, offered similar thoughts on Watson last week on XM Radio. Harmon said he has been in the team room for two Presidents Cup matches and he thought that Watson was a terrific team member. There’s a good chance come Sunday night that Love will add Watson, who is 3-8-0 in three Ryder Cups, to the team, but he did leave an opening for a younger golfer such as Daniel Berger or Justin Thomas to play well this week and earn the spot. And Jim Furyk, a vice captain on this year’s team, played well enough after wrist surgery to warrant consideration, too.
Snedeker joked that he’s glad he’s not in Love’s shoes, because the captain has “four or five” good options to fill his final spot. If Snedeker were choosing, certainly Watson would be high on his list.
“He’s the most positive, self-deprecating, great teammate to have in the team room – 100 percent behind you all the time,” he said. “Great cheerleader. A guy that anybody on the team would love to play with.
“I told Davis, if he gets picked, I would love to be his partner, because the guy makes golf look easy. He can make me look like the best player in the world if I played from where he did off the tee. I think we’d all love to have him as a partner on the team.
“So I don’t know … I saw all these articles come out the last couple weeks when Bubba wasn’t picked, and it’s because he’s bad in the team room, and that’s completely false. It’s a false narrative. I don’t know where it got started.”