Ryder Cup berths on minds of Tom Watson group


WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. - At 17th and 18th on the United States points list, respectively, Webb Simpson and Keegan Bradley had an opportunity Thursday afternoon to impress the third member of their Greenbrier Classic grouping - Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson.

Bradley had the edge in the opening round, posting a 3-under 67 while Simpson matched Watson with a 1-over 71.

As to whether they felt additional pressure playing with the captain, each player played it cool.

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"You're very aware that it's Tom Watson out there with you," Bradley said. "Regardless of if he's the captain or not, it's fun to play with a legend like Tom. I don't think today or tomorrow will set a spot on the Ryder Cup team, but he knows I want to be on that team."

"I've always been a believer that good play will take care of everything," added Simpson, who first met Watson when he was a standard-bearer for him at the 1999 U.S. Open at Pinehurst. "He's been around long enough to distinguish between the good players and the great players. You know, the rest of this year will take care of that and hopefully I'll earn a spot."

As for Watson, he's more interested in what potential team members are doing on Sundays, not Thursdays.

"I'm looking at how they're playing, but one of the things that is really important is to watch how they come down the stretch," Watson said. "Right now, it's just the beginning of a horse race. But when they're finishing, that's where I'll really concentrate on my observations."