Bishop first thought of Watson while flying back from Bermuda after the 2011 PGA Grand Slam of Golf, when he read a book about that near-miss at the British. When he first called, Watson was in a field in South Dakota pheasant hunting.
A few blocks from Broadway on Thursday, Watson compared himself to a stage manager with the job of putting his actors in best position to succeed. He mentioned the importance of luck in winning the Ryder Cup.
But he acknowledged that the good karma of his victories overseas — and especially in Scotland — might be that little nudge that returns the Americans to victory.
"It may give them a sense: 'This guy has been there before and he's been successful before and we're going to be a success because he's there leading us,'" Watson said.
He expects he'll help out in the most mundane of areas, such as advice on how to adjust to the time change. At the 1981 Ryder Cup at Walton Heath, Watson recalled, he cautioned Tom Kite not to tweak his swing just because he felt lousy the first few days there. Kite was glad he listened.
Watson dismissed talk that the Europeans were more motivated than the Americans in recent years. What he heard from Davis Love III, the captain at Medinah, was a team devastated by defeat.
AP Golf Writer Doug Ferguson contributed to this report.
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