Player Reaction: Captain Tom Watson
By mustang6560 on 12/13/12
Tom Watson was officially named the 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup Captain a few hours ago. Since then, I've been sifting through articles collecting player reactions to the announcement. So far the reaction has been very positive.

What do you think? Did the PGA of America make the right choice in selecting Tom Watson? Or did it make a mistake by passing up David Toms and Larry Nelson?

Tiger Woods:

"I'd like to congratulate Tom Watson on his selection as Ryder Cup captain," Woods said in a statement. "I think he's a really good choice. Tom knows what it takes to win, and that's our ultimate goal. I hope I have the privilege of joining him on the 2014 United States team."

Jack Nicklaus:

"He will do a fine job," Nicklaus said. "Tom always has been a wonderful golfer and remains one, but he is also a good leader. He has had a lot of experience in the Ryder Cup, as a player and a previous captain. So I am certain that when he goes to Gleneagles, he will prepare properly to do a nice job."

Paul Azinger:

"Tom Watson will be an excellent captain, as he was in 1993 when I played for him," said Azinger, the last captain to lead the USA to victory in the biennial match-play bout with Europe. "I liked all the captains I played for. Tom is straightforward and knows how to win."

Steve Stricker:

"Tom Watson makes perfect sense to me," Stricker said. "He's one of the all-time best players and winners, and he's beloved over the pond.

"He has the respect and admiration of the players. I don't think it's a prerequisite to have to be out on the PGA Tour playing on a continual basis to keep in contact with the players. He'll know who is playing well, and his reputation and resume has to be respected and admired.

"It's a great choice."

Brandt Snedeker:

"I'm a huge Tom Watson fan. I'm thrilled the PGA of America was thinking outside the box and Tom is a great choice. He's a decorated winner over the world and his success in Europe and Scotland gives us a lot of credibility going over there," Snedeker said. "He's loved in Scotland and fans there treat him like one of their own. It will be interesting how we're treated over there because of Tom.

"(Watson) not playing on the PGA Tour won't play any role in whether he's a great captain. The job of the captain is not to be buddy-buddy with the players; it's to put the best team on the course. He's respected in any given role and he knows plenty about what's going on and how to win."

Darren Clarke:

"The man is a huge name in the world of golf and rightly so," Clarke said this week in Australia. "I think he would make a fantastic captain for America."

Larry Nelson:

"It's disappointing," he said on Golf Channel's "Morning Drive." "That's the way it is and looks like that's the way it's going to be. Certainly it's not devastating. We don't quite understand how the decisions are made or what goes into those, but we just have to kind of react to what those are."

Mark O'Meara:

"I'll be honest with you, Tom's been a captain and I was a little disappointed. Not that Tom Watson can't do a fabulous job being the Ryder Cup captain. It's just that I truly believe Larry Nelson, in my opinion, who's won three major championships — two PGA [Championships], a U.S. Open — my vote was hopefully going to be cast for him if I had any say. It is what it is. We'll be behind Tom Watson.

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Image via Flickr, Tillers1

[ comments ]
dottomm says:
The U.S. really had to reach deep into it's quiver to assure a win next time.
Good pick though.
Torleif Sorenson says:
Now *I* am juiced about the 2014 Ryder Cup! Obviously being a Ryder Cup team member is a big deal for U.S. tour players, but I'm sure that this really ratchets up the pressure and desire among guys who WANT to be on that team. Between the Open Championship playoff and his distinguished record, Watson seems like a cross between Scotty Bowman and Badger Bob Johnson.

BTW, I'm really surprised that Tiger released such a "boilerplate" message. Snedeker's and Clarke's quotes are the two best of that bunch.
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