Watson responds to critics

Tom Watson issued an open letter following the criticism of his captaincy of the US Ryder Cup team at Gleneagles.

Watson has copped much of the blame for the 16½ – 11½ loss to Europe two weeks ago. Phil Mickleson has perhaps been the most outspoken about Watson’s tactics in the aftermath of the Ryder Cup.

In addition, reports from an unnamed source suggested that Watson ridiculed his players on the eve of the final day, even mocking the gift they had given him. In response to these reports, the eight time Major winner released the following statement.

“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,” it read.

“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.”