February 14, 2019 / 12:42 AM / 10 months ago

Golf: Bubba targets U.S. Ryder Cup captaincy and Hall of Fame

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Bubba Watson’s career goals include being a Ryder Cup captain and making it into the World Golf Hall of Fame, the American told reporters on the eve of his defense of the Genesis Open title at Riviera on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: Jan 31, 2019; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Bubba Watson with his tee shot on the 3rd hole during the first round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament at TPC Scottsdale. Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

Having surpassed his initial target of 10 wins on the PGA Tour with 12 victories including his Masters triumphs in 2012 and 2014, Watson has set his sights on leaving a lasting legacy in the sport.

“For my own personal satisfaction, I would love to make the Hall of Fame,” he said.

“Is that two more majors? Is that three more wins? Ten more wins? I don’t know.

“Then I’ve always wanted to be a Ryder Cup captain because that was another form of the Hall of Fame. I count them as equal.”

Watson said that at even at a young age he was influenced by the play of several Ryder Cup standouts.

“I remember winning golf tournaments at age 12, that’s about the time I really started seeing golf on TV, and Payne Stewart on TV, that’s who I watched,” he said.

“Then my senior year of high school was ‘97, so that’s when (I saw) Tiger (Woods), the baggy red sweater ... pumping his fist.”

U.S. Ryder Cup captains are typically around the age of 50, so Watson has another decade to press his case to the task force comprised of players and administrators that chooses the leaders for the biennial team event against Europe.

The 40-year-old will let his clubs do the talking when he tees off on Thursday at Riviera, where he has won three times in five years.

Although the game has earned him fame and nearly $43 million in winnings alone, Watson said age had afforded him some perspective on what is really important in life.

“I want to be a Hall of Fame husband and dad,” he said. “Who cares about golf?”

Reporting by Rory Carroll, editing by Nick Mulvenney

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