Weary Watson left reeling as his plans backfire

Sat Sep 27, 2014 3:12pm EDT
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By Mitch Phillips

GLENEAGLES Scotland (Reuters) - If Tom Watson needed an early night after Friday's Ryder Cup setback he is going to need medicinal fortification on Saturday after another foursomes drubbing that left his U.S. team 10-6 down.

Watson looked every day of his 65 years on Friday evening, struggling to sound enthusiastic after Europe's record 3-1/2 - 1/2 foursomes win and, despite a brief morning rally, he was again left searching for answers when Europe repeated the emphatic scoreline 24 hours later.

"When I look back on it, maybe playing the players too much would be one regret," he said after repeated probing in a news conference.

"They got a little tired and maybe I regret not understanding that they couldn't handle it.

"We can talk about decisions on teams all you want but it's the players that perform that you have to talk about."

Or, in the case of Phil Mickelson, Keegan Bradley and Webb Simpson, those who did not, because all three major champions were left on the sidelines all day.

At 44 and with arthritis issues, Mickelson battled through the chill wind for all 36 holes on Friday with even his coach Butch Harmon saying he looked out of gas by the end.

Mickelson begged to play -- twice -- on Saturday but Watson stood his ground.   Continued...

U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson (L) and Europe Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley watch play on the first hole during fourballs matches at the 40th Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in Scotland September 27, 2014.   REUTERS/Toby Melville