Pros advice

Watson to Europe: Bradley is our Poulter

The recent wildcard picks went pretty much as expected, with few raised eyebrows over the inclusion of Englishman Ian Poulter, or ‘Hero’ as he’s often coined when brought up in Ryder Cup conversation.

However, Tom Watson is already working to deflect the mental advantage of Europe having Poulter on its side by claiming the US team have their own hero in Keegan Bradley.

Watson named Bradley, along with Hunter Mahan and Webb Simpson, as his three wildcard picks following Paul McGinley’s selection of Poulter, Gallacher and Westwood.

And Watson was quick to address reporters, telling Sky Sports: “Keegan Bradley could be our Ian Poulter.”

Watson added: “He’s a wonderful man. He’s got the kind of desire which I think will help carry our team in a big way.

“He is a bad weather player. He takes his rain suit wherever he goes. He was a competitive skier at high school and plays a bit like Henrik Stenson.”

Bradley is not as well versed in Ryder Cup competition as Poulter is, having only played in the event once – which was at Medinah in 2012 – although he did win all of his matches when playing with Phil Mickelson before eventually tasting defeat at the hands of Rory McIlroy.

"We play all year for all this money and all this fame and amazing trophies, the history,” Bradley said. “But the Ryder Cup has such a force to it. It is unexplainable. To be a part of that team, to be in the team room, to have a captain like Tom Watson…it’s something that can’t be put into words.

“A big majority of the team were in Chicago last year. To think I wouldn’t have a chance to have a say in what happens in Scotland would have been tough. The Ryder Cup has this pull – it can make you do some crazy things. It’s an amazing event.”