So let the gamesmanship begin.
One of the last three players named to Europe’s team as a captain’s pick, 10-time Ryder Cup player Lee Westwood questioned Davis Love III’s appointment as captain and wondered about the U.S. team’s cohesiveness in an interview published by ESPN UK.
Six Europeans will play in their first Ryder Cup next week at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska. Love still must name his 12th and final player at halftime of NBC’s Sunday Night Football, but Westwood wondered out loud why Love hasn’t already named Bubba Watson, the world’s seventh-ranked player.
“There seems to have been issues about team spirit and chemistry,” Westwood said. “Love has not picked Bubba Watson and I don’t know what that does for team spirit. He was first outside the points qualification and is No. 7 in the world. The captain is obviously building them up a lot and making interesting decisions.
“They have got a strong side and probably are favorites, but they haven’t won it for a while and they are playing in front of a crowd. There is a lot of pressure on them.”
Great friends with European captain Darren Clarke, Westwood also questioned whether vice-captain Tiger Woods’ presence will have an adverse effect and mentioned the PGA of America’s “task force” that has changed and intensified preparations for nearly two years.
“They have got this task force in place, they are obviously being very serious and doing as much as they can to win the Cup back,” Westwood. “There is a lot of pressure on them.”