Late last night, US Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson named Keegan Bradley, Hunter Mahan and Webb Simpson as his three wildcard picks to face Team Europe at Gleneagles later this month.
The USA has lost the last two head-to-heads against Team Europe. Keegan Bradley was on the losing side in 2012, as was Webb Simpson, with Hunter Mahan part of the 2010 team that lost at Celtic Manor. Watson’s wildcards are keen to put the ghosts of past losses to rest, with victory at Gleneagles.
Bradley was first to be announced by Watson. The 28-year-old struck up a partnership with Phil Mickelson at Medinah in 2012, winning three out of three matches when paired with the lefty.
Despite that, the US lost after a final day comeback by Europe, a memory Bradley is desperate to erase.
“I made no secret how badly I want to go back and win the Ryder Cup,” said the 2011 PGA Champion. “This is a redemption year for a lot of guys who were on the team last year.”
The Barclays champ is the only US Ryder Cup wildcard to taste victory, that came at Valhalla in 2008. However, it’s the 2010 final day loss to Graeme McDowell which is fresh in the world No. 20’s mind.
“Losing lingers,” said Mahan. “It's been four years, but it feels like yesterday. I remember walking off the green and everyone was having a big party, and I felt like I was walking by myself for 600 yards to the clubhouse.”
For many, Webb Simpson faced a battle from Chris Kirk for a US Ryder Cup wildcard pick. Kirk did win the Deutsche Bank Championship earlier this week, but Watson opted for Simpson, who secured a ninth place finish at the FedExCup event.
“It was a big win for him,” said the 2012 US Open champ. “I knew it was going to be a difficult decision, but I knew a good, solid week would make it tough for the captain not to pick me.”
Quotes taken from PGATour.com