Americans play too much before a Ryder Cup: Captain Watson

Tue Sep 23, 2014 2:10pm EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

GLENEAGLES Scotland (Reuters) - Captain Tom Watson believes the United States team are often drained by having to play too much competitive golf in the lead-up to a Ryder Cup match.

Europe have a proud recent history, with seven wins from the last nine editions, and Watson says the money-spinning U.S. FedExCup playoff series that is held before the biennial team event serves as an added complication to the American squad.

"I am concerned about how much these players are playing before they reach the Ryder Cup," the eight-times major winner told a news conference on Tuesday. "I'm very concerned about that."

Watson said he raised the issue with PGA of America president Ted Bishop and PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem two years ago.

"These players are playing seven out of eight tournaments or eight out of nine tournaments," added Watson. "They are tired. That's too much golf.

"If they could rectify that by a change in the date or the way these tournaments are played prior to it, that would be great for the Ryder Cup."

Earlier on Tuesday, European stalwart Graeme McDowell said a change to a three-year cycle of matches might benefit the American players in order to break up the pattern of competing in either the Ryder Cup or the Presidents Cup every season.

"I've spoken to a few of them and they are of the belief that this needs to be every three years so they can play a Ryder Cup and a Presidents Cup and have a year off," said world number 18 McDowell.   Continued...

U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson holds the Ryder Cup as he poses ahead of the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in Scotland September 23, 2014. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne