Watson ready to wear his emotions on his sleeve in pursuit of 'that little trophy'


THERE REALLY is something about Bubba Watson. Forget the golf for a minute, let’s settle on the emotional. It’s not as if he’s a ‘rookie’ in the Ryder Cup – he got to suffer just like every other American player at Celtic Manor two years go – but, yesterday, he breezed into the media centre and it turned into a real tearjerker. For him!

Okay, so the introduction set the scene. “Been quite a year, Masters victory in April, adopted a baby, now the chance to represent your country in the Ryder Cup at home for the first time. Would be nice, I’m sure, to come away with the Ryder Cup trophy itself on Sunday evening,” said the moderator Kelly Elbin to Watson, his eyes already welling up with tears.

The real Watson is a man who wants to win but who isn’t afraid to wear his emotions on his sleeve. He is a man who doesn’t fear taking on golf shots that nobody else can even imagine in the wildest figment of their imagination, but who will find a tear welling in the corner of his eyes at the merest mention of overseas US troops.

“I’m probably going to cry at some point this week because I cry every week, it seems like. There’s going to be good shots I’m going to cry about. There’s going to be bad shots I cry about . . . it’s just for the love of that little trophy that we want to win and we want to win for our countries,” explained Watson of why he should demonstrate so much passion at Ryder Cup time.

In expanding on his passion – and using Ian Poulter as an example of where that passion manifests itself – Watson added: “I love golf. It’s brought me here, it’s got me a lot of things in my life. And, as a fan of golf, Ian Poulter’s is an amazing story.

“It’s amazing watching where his career started and where it is now. It’s amazing to listen to him talk about where he picked up range balls, he worked in the pro shop, did everything, and now he’s at the Ryder Cup. I love his passion, I respect him very much, and I love how passionate he is about winning it.

“That’s the same way our team is. And again, it’s the little gold Ryder Cup is what we’re trying to get, and again, it doesn’t matter who it is that I’m facing. I don’t really care who I’m facing Poulter or facing Phil Mickelson, it’s about winning the cup. It’s the same thing. Any golf tournament we play in, we don’t care who we’re playing against, we just want to win whatever trophy there is. If it’s a green jacket or if it’s a big trophy or a small trophy, we’re trying to win that trophy, so our passion is for that trophy.”

Watson’s golfing year has been a story in itself, from his swashbuckling play-off win off the pine needles at Augusta over Louis Oosthuizen to win the Masters to his cementing a first home appearance in the Ryder Cup. But ask him what has been the highlight of his year, and golf – which has made tears well up on countless occasions this week – is secondary.

“Adopting a son was the best thing this year,” he said.

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