BUBBA Watson, the first player to become a multiple Masters winner since Phil Mickelson in 2006, wants to be on a winning Ryder Cup team for the first time at Gleneagles in September.
The 35-year-old, who claimed his second Green Jacket at Augusta National on Sunday, has virtually guaranteed the event in Perthshire will have at least one current major champion in action.
With double points on offer in the Masters, as well as the US Open, Open Championship and US PGA Championship, in the qualifying campaign for the American team, Watson is up to first after winning in Georgia, where he went to college, for the second time in three years.
“See you on the plane to Gleneagles,” wrote Tom Watson, the US captain, in a Twitter message to his namesake minutes after his victory, an indication that the new world No 4 will be there even if he needs a wild card.
Watson has played in two Ryder Cups and, after tasting defeat at both Celtic Manor in 2010 then Medinah two years later, he is determined to avoid an unwanted hat-trick when the event is held in Scotland for the first time in more than 40 years.
“It’s an amazing feeling to have a chance to go to Scotland, the home of golf, to play in the Ryder Cup,” he told The
Scotsman. “I mean, how would you not want to play golf there? I love it so I can’t wait.
“I know a win here is double points, so I figure I made the team. It’s a great feeling and I can’t wait to get over there. But I’d [now] like to win one. I haven’t won a Ryder Cup yet, so that’s the next big tournament I’d like to win.”
While Swede Jonas Blixt, joint-second on Sunday, has committed to the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open in July, Watson said the event at Royal Aberdeen didn’t fit in with his schedule.
“I haven’t thought about it,” he replied to being asked if he had considered joining the likes of Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood and Jimmy Walker in playing in the Granite City. “But I always play Greenbrier because it’s two weeks before.”
Watson also moved to fourth in the world after his first Masters win in 2012. He jumped eight spots on this occasion to now have only Tiger Woods, Adam Scott and Henrik Stenson above him.
Jordan Spieth, who shared the lead with Watson heading into the final round and held a two-shot lead after seven holes before sharing second with Blixt, is up four places to ninth, leapfrogging McIlroy who slipped to tenth.
Miguel Angel Jimenez, who finished fourth at the age of 50, has jumped eight places to 32nd, one spot above Blixt, while Stephen Gallacher dropped one spot to 39th despite finishing in a tie for 34th on his Masters debut.