With the Ryder Cup standings beginning to take shape as September draws nearer, many fans and media members looked to the pairing of Team USA Ryder Cup Captain Tom Watson, Webb Simpson and Keegan Bradley as a very intriguing group at the Greenbrier Classic.
Simpson and Bradley who currently sit in the number 17 and 18 positions respectfully in the current Ryder Cup standings, looked to show their form first hand to their would be captain in the mountains of West Virginia.
Playing with Watson in the first two rounds, both players played steady golf, though neither posted numbers near the top of the leader board as scoring conditions gave way to low numbers.
Bradley finished with a 67 in round one, followed by a 69 in round two, whereas Simpson failed to even beat Watson (71) in round one equaling the 63-year old 71 followed by a 69 in round two.
The weekend however took on a different story for both payers, especially during the final round on Sunday. Both Simpson and Bradley made big moves up the leader board as players in front of them faltered.
Bradley ended his visit to White Sulphur Springs with a 4-under, 66 good enough for a tie for fourth, as Simpson definitely made the biggest impression coming down the stretch finishing with a 7-under, 63 to end in solo third.
Top-5 finishes for both players would certainly catch the eye of Watson as he prepares to fly to Scotland this weekend on a reconnaissance mission, in which Bradley was previously invited to attend.
“ I invited a bunch of the players to go”, Watson said in a post round interview. Most of them couldn’t make it because they’re either playing in the John Deere Classic or the Scottish Open, but there are a few that are going to make it up there.”
“It’s going to give me a chance to see the golf course a couple of days and just what goes on around the golf course so that I can get from point A to point B without any hassles.”
Watson had stated earlier in the week that he looks not only how a player is doing during a certain event, but how they come down the stretch on Sundays.
Simpson, who finished off the Greenbrier Classic very strong made no beef about he wanted to show the Captain what he had before and after playing with Watson during their first two rounds.
“I think Tom knows what’s going on, and I’m hoping my good play will take care of it and not have to be a captain’s pick, but if I was a captain’s pick, it would be great to be on that team.” Simpson said in his post round comments. ” So it was fun to be with Tom last Thursday and Friday, and he’s still a great competitor, so he knows what’s going on out here.”
With the PGA Championship and cutoff for Ryder Cup points quickly approaching on August 7th, players like Simpson and Bradley know their time is limited to earn points or to make an impression on Watson.
Will they do enough in events to make the US Ryder Cup team on points or will they need to hope to impress Watson when it’s time for him to decide on his two very important and often controversial captains picks?