An Open Letter From Tom Watson
After a week of strong reaction to Team USA's defeat at the Ryder Cup in Scotland, the post-competition second-guessing, complaints about not using the "pod" system, players getting unexpectedly benched, etc., etc., we thought that the debate and controversy was finally over.
But after a week of all of this, U.S. captain Tom Watson obviously felt compelled to address the criticism and defend his players. Via the PGA of America, which co-organizes the biennial Ryder Cup matches, Watson decided to release an open letter
on Saturday evening:
By Tom Watson
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Image via Facebook, Ryder Cup Team USA
2014 U.S. Ryder Cup Captain
In response to all of the recent discussion about our Ryder Cup loss, I would like to make a few comments.
First, I take complete and full responsibility for my communication, and I regret that my words may have made the players feel that I didn't appreciate their commitment and dedication to winning the Ryder Cup. My intentions throughout my term as Captain were both to inspire and to be honest.
Secondly, the guys gave everything. They played their hearts out. I was proud to get to know each and every one of them. I know they are all going to win tournaments, be on future Ryder Cup teams and have wonderful careers.
Our team certainly showed guts when it took it to the other team early in Sunday's singles matches. We were indeed tied with them as the scoreboard turned wonderfully "red." Our players started fast as I had asked them to in my comments the night before. I asked them to really concentrate on holes 2-5, as the Europeans had won too many early battles on these particular holes. But in the end, the facts are that the other team played better. My hat's off and congratulations to them.
As for Phil's comments, I completely understand his reaction in the moment. Earlier this week I had an open and candid conversation with him and it ended with a better understanding of each other's perspectives. Phil's heart and intentions for our Team's success have always been in the right place. Phil is a great player, has great passion and I admire what he's done for golf.
The bottom line is this. I was their Captain. In hindsight whatever mistakes that were made were mine. And I take complete and full responsibility for them. I want to say again to the players, their families, the PGA and our country how proud and honored I was to captain this talented group of golfers, and how privileged I was to spend the past two years working this labor of my love for the Ryder Cup.
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Accounts of the team meeting Saturday evening paint a pretty bleak picture. I hope this letter ends the debate over the past event and everyone looks ahead for ideas to make the competition actually competitive.
Sad that it has come to this. Dammit, this is supposed to be a fun match, until the American side begins to treat it as such, they will continue to be tormented by it, win or lose.
Also I feel bad for Tom Watson. It sounds to me like he tried to take a hard-line, old school approach to captaining the team and the players took it the wrong way.
I agree. He went old school and it not only didn't work, he got stung by social media at it's worse. 20 years ago the only people that would have known what happened in the locker room would be the players.
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