Bubba Watson still hopes for final Ryder Cup spot
There is one spot left on the United States' Ryder Cup team -- and Bubba Watson wants it.
The drama as to whether the two-time Masters champion will fill the fourth and final captain's pick of Davis Love III will, in part, be played out on the grounds of East Lake Golf Club this weekend.
Watson opened the Tour Championship with a 2-over par 72 in the first round of the FedEx Cup playoff finale -- a pair of bogeys on the 16th and 17th holes the final damage. Love III will make his final selection following the tournament and the Ryder Cup begins on Sept. 30 at Hazeltine National in Minnesota.
"It's everything," Watson said of making his fourth Ryder Cup team. "The only two things that were important this year were making the Olympics and making the Ryder Cup team."
Love III previously added Rickie Fowler, Matt Kuchar and J.B. Holmes to the eight players who earned their way on the team. Watson, who is ranked seventh in the World Golf Rankings and finished eighth at the Rio Olympics, is still on the outside looking in.
"Davis said it's all about strategies and different things," said Watson, who added he doesn't feel like this week is a tryout for the event. "It's not about my play. It's not about anybody's play. So I can't worry about that."
Watson, the University of Georgia product, said he recently sent Love III a text message with a request. If he is not picked, he would like to be an assistant captain. Anything, just to be part of the team. He believes Love III is now considering how players pair with each other as a final determinant.
Watson was part of a group of team members that traveled to play Hazeltine on Monday. He has the support of several, including Jordan Spieth and Brandt Snedeker. Snedeker went so far as to debunk any notion that Watson has not been selected because he is considered a bad teammate.
"I don't know where everybody gets this idea that Bubba Watson is a bad teammate," Snedeker said. "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."
Watson said he was informed of the comments by Snedeker and Spieth in text messages from others. He thanked them for his support. He added that putting the thought of making the Ryder Cup team out of his mind this week has been easy. There is a pretty important golf tournament going on right now.
The United States has been on the losing side of the past three Ryder Cups in 2010, 2012 and 2014. Watson was a member of each team.
"There is going to be one year, hopefully before I pass away, that we actually win and I want to be a part of it," Watson said.
This article was written by Chris Vivlamore from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.
WATCH: U.S. Captain Davis Love III discusses his first three captain's picks.