Watson is not wild on Ryder Cup wildcards

Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:03am EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

(Reuters) - Rival 2014 Ryder Cup captains Tom Watson and Paul McGinley were involved in their first public disagreement, albeit good natured, at Gleneagles on Tuesday.

U.S. skipper Watson believes it would be a good thing for all 12 players in each team to earn an automatic place through their respective money-lists, with no wildcard selections, but Europe captain McGinley had a different view.

"If you really look at it, the purist form of Ryder Cup would be no captain's picks and 12 players who qualify," Watson told a joint news conference in Scotland to mark the one-year countdown to next year's biennial team event.

"I reduced my picks this year from four to three and was thinking actually two because I wanted the players who are playing to get on the team, to have that as a goal.

"If they get there then they have earned something very, very special and maybe we should go back to no picks."

As soon as he finished his sentence, the 64-year-old Watson turned to McGinley to enquire, "What do you think about that, Paul?".

McGinley, however, cited the amount of top European golfers who ply their livings on the U.S. Tour as a reason for keeping the wildcard system in place.

"It's a different dynamic on the European side when we have so many players playing on the PGA Tour so let's defer that one, thank you," said the Irishman with a typically broad grin.   Continued...

Tom Watson of the U.S. watches his tee shot on the second hole during the first round of the British Open golf Championship at Muirfield in Scotland July 18, 2013. REUTERS/Brian Snyder