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Bubba Watson said he learned a lot about himself as a Ryder Cup assistant (and not all of it was flattering)


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November 29, 2016

NEW PROVIDENCE, Bahamas -- When U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III offered Bubba Watson a role as a vice captain on this year’s team after Watson got passed over as one of four captain’s picks, Watson still jumped at the chance.

All he had to do was convince his wife.

“[She] actually said no,” Watson said Tuesday from the Hero World Challenge, where he is the defending champion. “I gave her a 30-second speech and she said, ‘We’re in, when do we leave?’”

The decision turned out to be a meaningful one for Watson. The U.S. won and along the way the veteran of three previous Ryder Cup and two Presidents Cup teams learned something about himself: He had been selfish.

“I was not a good person for [prior captains],” Watson said. “When the captain says, ‘Who do you want to play with?’ when you give the captain one person, like Webb Simpson or J.B. Holmes, Presidents Cup, when you do things like that, it limits what you can do. You're only learning one person that week or those practice rounds. So you need to go out there and do more, give the captain more, the vice captains more.

“I didn’t see it from [the captain’s side] before. I was so focused on me, playing every match. That’s what I focused on. But when I saw it from this side I said I wasn’t being fair to my teammates and captain.”

Indeed, Watson’s personality and style of play could make him a difficult partner to pair, though he didn’t think that had anything to do with him not being picked this year. Ryan Moore, who was the last player to be selected by Love, was simply in better form.

Watson also discovered that he enjoyed the role despite not being able to play.

As for whether or not he would one day be a good captain himself?

“Who knows, but I know my passions as a person, I know my passions in the locker room,” he said. “Do I think I could do well at it? Yes. Would I want to do it? Yes, in a heartbeat. I would do it next year, the year after, I'd do it every year.”