Watson didn’t make the most recent team on merit, and he was not added by captain Davis Love III despite being ranked in the OWGR top 10. But the two-time Masters champ embraced his role as an assistant captain, and Watson claims to have learned a lot from his role in the Americans’ 17-11 triumph over Europe.
“There are things that I learned seeing it from the other side, and those are things that I didn’t think about because all you’re thinking about (as a player) is yourself,” said Watson, who this week will defend his title at the Hero World Challenge. “If I do make another team event or if I’m vice captain again, or if I was ever captain, I’ve learned a lot from seeing it from the other side.”
Watson turned 38 earlier this month and still plans to make several more Ryder Cup teams as a player. But should he someday be asked to captain his own American squad, it’s a role he would embrace without hesitation.
“I’ve always looked at Ryder Cup captain and Hall of Fame as the same,” he said. “You might not make the Hall of Fame, but because of who you are and what you’ve done for the game of golf, we’re going to pick you as Ryder Cup captain, so it’s another form of Hall of Fame.
“So do I think I could do well at it? Yes. Would I want to do it? Yes, in a heartbeat. I would do it next year, the year after, I’d do it every year.”
Captain in perpetuity may be a tall ask, but Watson would also be ready to return to his assistant duties after such a successful stint in the cart at Hazeltine.
“I told them even in the team room, I said I’d be vice captain for life,” Watson said. “If you let me just sign up now as vice captain for life, I’ll do it. I’m in, because I just had so much fun doing it and enjoyed it so much.”