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'It's amazing to have the chance to go to Scotland'

Amid the emotion and tears, double-Masters winning Bubba Watson took the time to look ahead to competing in September's Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.

Bubba Watson celebrates with his son Caleb on the 18th hole after winning his second green jacket in three years. Picture: Getty Sport
Bubba Watson celebrates with his son Caleb on the 18th hole after winning his second green jacket in three years. Picture: Getty Sport

Watson was fitted for a second Augusta green jacket in three years, winning comfortably by three shots in contrast to his first victory when he needed a miracle play-off shot from the trees.

The Baghdad-born American has jumped eight places to No.4 in the world, while he is now also in first place on Tom Watson's USA Ryder Cup list of qualifiers.

Watson's maiden Masters win ensured that he qualified automatically for the 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah, in which he won two of his four matches.

Now, his second Augusta National success guarantees he competes in this year's encounter in the Perthshire countryside.

"It's an amazing feeling to have a chance to go to Scotland, the home of golf," he said. "I mean, how would you not want to play golf there? I just love it - going over there and playing golf - so I can't wait. I know my Masters win is double Ryder Cup points, so I figure I will make the team. It's a great feeling. I haven't won a Ryder Cup yet, so that's the next big tournament I'd like to win.

Watson now has the same number of green jackets as his USA Ryder Cup captain namesake, and Tom Watson tweeted soon after his victory. "Way to go Bubba. Enjoy your victory," he wrote. "See you on the plane to Gleneagles."

However, while Watson will of course tee up in July's Open Championship, he will not be tempted to contest the Aberdeen Asset Scottish Open at Royal Aberdeen.

"No, I'm playing the Greenbrier Classic which is the week before and then I will be over for the British Open," he said.

The Greenbrier will be defended by Sweden's Jonas Blixt who climbed from 46th to 14th on the Ryder Cup points table, and is now guaranteed a place in the field for the year's remaining three majors, having risen from 56th to 33rd in the official world rankings. Blixt's share of second place came in only his third major championship.

When asked about his chances of qualifying for the Europe team, Blixt, who turns 30 next week, struggled to name Europe's captain.

"It would be a lifelong dream to appear on a Ryder Cup team," said Blixt. "So I'm going to do everything I can, absolutely everything to be on that team. But it's up to ahh, ahh.Boy! I can't think of his name. What's his name?"

"Paul McGinley," someone offered.

Blixt continued: "Yes, that's right, sorry. It's up to Paul to make the decisions on that. But you know what, I'm going to play as hard as I can in order so he doesn't have a choice but to pick me.

"I want the Europeans to win and I'll support them as much as I can, but I would love be on that team."

McGinley first met Blixt eight months ago during the US PGA Championship at Oak Hill as the Swede contested his second major, having finished tied 26th in the Open Championship before impressing in sealing fourth place at Bay Hill.

Following a 15-minute get to know you chat McGinley came away very impressed by Blixt. "It was only a short meeting but Jonas really impressed me," said McGinley.

"He's a golfer who displays 'spunk' and it's the type of player you need in a Ryder Cup side."

Blixt's fellow Swede Henrik Stenson, who shared 14th place at Augusta on one over par, agrees.

"I know from speaking a lot with Jonas that is one of his goals, to be on the Ryder Cup team," he said. "He joined the European Tour for that reason and, after this result, he is heading in the right direction.

"But I would agree with Paul that Jonas has spunk, whatever spunk is, but if it's showing guts and having determination, his record shows that he does have spunk and that's what I like about him, too. Jonas didn't make it on to the PGA Tour via the normal European Tour route; he came an unconventional way, to come to college over here in the States.

"He would be great on a European team and I say the more Swedes on the Ryder Cup team the better."

Meanwhile, Stephen Gallacher will join fellow Scots Martin Laird and Russell Knox in this week's $5.8m RBC Heritage Classic at Hilton Head, South Carolina.

It will be Gallacher's second appearance in a regular PGA Tour this year after competing in the Honda Classic. The Scot also intends to return for next month's Players Championship ahead of a fourth trip across the Atlantic to tee up in June's US Open at Pinehurst.

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