Tom Watson made an appearance at the Northern Trust Open to talk about his U.S. Ryder Cup captaincy. Watson’s deep respect for the Ryder Cup, and will to win shined through at the press conference.
Watson has many responsibilities as the captain, and the primary one is figuring out who his three picks will be for the team on September 2nd.
I had the opportunity to ask Watson what he is looking for in his captain’s picks. He said he wants a player who can “make that five-footer to win or tie.” Watson added that Jimmy Walker’s putt on 18 to win the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am is exactly what he is looking for.
At the press conference, Watson announced that Hall of Famer Ray Floyd will be one of his assistant captains. Floyd spoke via telephone, and summed up his duties saying that he is there to uplift the players’ spirits, and make sure they feel comfortable asking him for advice.
Player notes: Justin Rose is making his first start of 2014 after rehabbing his right shoulder (tendinitis). Rose started hitting drivers 10 days ago, so his game might be rusty. However, Rose was seen doing on course work with swing instructor Sean Foley to ramp up for the tournament.
Jimmy Walker, who has won three of his last eight tournaments, said his work with Butch Harmon includes a “go-to shot.” Walker’s go-to shot is a low cut, which has been working very well for him.
Course update: The greens at Riviera continue to get firmer as the grounds crew cuts and rolls them in the morning and afternoon.
They want the greens running between 12 and 12.25 on the stimp. Even if the greens firm up, I think without rough the winning score will be around 15 to 18-under par.
Best quote of the day: Fluff Cowan, a famous caddie on Tour, told me the way you win is to “hit it good and make everything.”
Coolest moment of the day: I shook Tom Watson’s hand, and told him to bring home the Ryder Cup.
Dustin Johnson hits a shot out of the right greenside bunker on hole three. The picture shows the shaved edges and steep faces of the bunkers at Riviera.
Sean Foley does on course work with Hunter Mahan and Justin Rose on the fourth green.
Scott Brown’s caddie stands in the eighth fairway.
The Eucalyptus trees are sweet!
View behind sixteen green. Sycamore trees surround the hole making it one of the best par-3s in the world.