By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
NORTON, Mass. — Nick Watney allowed himself a little time to celebrate his win at The Barclays on Sunday.
He headed into Manhattan with his wife and met up with Adam Scott, Charley Hoffman, Tim Clark, John Mallinger and Justin Rose for a nice dinner. Watney, who was $1.44 million richer after his win on the Black Course at Bethpage State Park took him to No. 1 in the FedExCup, picked up the tab.
"That is true, but I was very happy to do that," Watney said.
Should Watney be one of the four picks U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love III announces to complete his team on Tuesday, the day after the Deutsche Bank Championship is over, the lanky Californian has a different kind of celebration planned.
"If I get that call, I could probably walk to Indy just as fast as fly because I’ll be super, super excited," Watney said, flashing a big grin, as he pondered the commute to next week’s BMW Championship.
What happens at TPC Boston this week will likely have a big bearing on Love’s choices. He has veterans like Jim Furyk and Steve Stricker available to answer his call, along with some of the game’s brightest young stars like Watney, Dustin Johnson, Hunter Mahan, Rickie Fowler, Bill Haas and Brandt Snedeker.
"I really don’t know (what I need to do)," Watney said. "I haven’t spoken to Davis. I got a text from Freddie, but he didn’t say anything about it. He said ‘Nice playing.’ So for all I know, I’m not even in the conversation. I’m really not sure. All I can do is go and try to play my best. I know that’s watered down and cliché, but it’s really true.
"I’m not really shooting for any number or … if I finish in the top 10 I’ll make it because I’m just not sure. I guess I’ll just try to continue my momentum, like I said. I always love to play with Tiger, so maybe that can spur me on even more."
Watney, who has drawn Woods and Snedeker for the first two rounds at TPC Boston, was 30th when the automatic qualification process ended after the PGA Championship. But Love has said he’s looking for players with the hot hand and after Watney picked up his fifth win on Sunday, a case could certainly be made for him.
"If I were to win this week, I guess … I’ve heard he said he’s looking for a hot player, and I would have to classify myself as a hot player if I were to win two tournaments in a row," Watney said. "I could honestly see a scenario where I win this tournament, and Davis says, well, just based on the year, if Brandt or Dustin played well, I’m taking the two or three guys that are really experienced, and Brandt and Dustin have had a better collective season than this guy.
"Part of me wishes that I knew what I had to do, and part of me is glad that I don’t. I’m excited to play the Deutsche Bank. I feel like I’m in great position as far as the Playoffs go, and if that call comes, like I said, I will be overjoyed, and if it doesn’t, then the first five months of the season cost me."