A husky-voiced Bubba Watson suggested he had a sinus infection on Wednesday, and said he was not the only member of the United States Ryder Cup team feeling under the weather. Watson, a triple winner this year but out of form recently, said a bug had spread at last week’s Tour Championship, where 11 Americans and six Europeans were among the 30-man field in Atlanta.
“You can tell, my voice, I’m exhausted,” Watson said at Le Golf National, two days ahead of the start of the biennial team event. “It kind of started through the locker room last week — I just I happened to get it. I’ve got a weak immune system. “A lot of us were kind of getting sick — gosh, I don’t want to say not quite half the field had something, and then you know, travelling all the way over here, we’re all battling something.”
Watson refused to provide any more specifics to the media, aware that he had already made comments that could perhaps lead to headlines about a sick team. Asked about the health of his team mates, he said: “I could care less about them. I’m trying to get me healthy.” Watson won three times by June on the PGA Tour this year, however his form has been spotty since. He finished second last at the Tour Championship, but has a poor Ryder Cup record of three wins, eight losses and no halves.
A creative shotmaker who can do things with the ball that would put a trick shot artist to shame, Watson by the same token has never been model of consistency. He is likely to sit out the foursomes this week. He has an 0-2-0 record in the unforgiving alternate-shot format in which two team mates play the same ball, taking it in turns to hit shots.
More likely he will get a start in four ball, the format where both players hit their own ball, and take the best score at each hole. He has a reasonable 3-3-0 record in the format, and is 0-3-0 in singles.
Watson was overlooked for the 2016 team, even though he was ranked seventh in the world at the time. Instead he took the role as a vice captain.
He is delighted to be back playing rather than driving a cart. “What a thrill and an honour (it is) to be part of it again, and knowing the trust that I got from 2016, (the players) can still bump ideas and ask me questions, even though I am a player this time instead,” he said.