Watson to rest Bradley and Mickelson

Team USA Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson has decided to rest Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson for Saturday morning’s fourball session at Gleneagles.

The pair beat Europe’s Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy 1UP in the last match of Friday morning’s fourballs to help the US to a 2 ½ to 1 ½ lead.

However, they faded badly in the afternoon foursomes and lost 3&2 to Graeme McDowell and Victor Dubuisson as Europe surged back to take 5 to 3 lead.

Watson told Sky Sports that Bradley and Mickelson will likely return to action on Saturday afternoon.

“It’s really just common sense I think. They played 36 holes. They are tired,” he said.

“I’ll give them a break in the morning, get their legs back. They may not go together but they will go in the afternoon.”

Mickelson agrees that he did not play well on Friday afternoon says his poor performance is was not due to fatigue.

“I don’t know the description I would use, I didn’t feel like I was out of gas as far as out of energy, but I stopped hitting good shots,” he said.

“I didn’t play very well in the afternoon. I ended up not making putts that I normally would make and hitting some shots that I haven’t been hitting. I didn’t play the best.”

Watson has been criticized for leaving out debutants Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed, who exceeded expectations with a 5&4 win against the experienced Ian Poulter and rookie Stephen Gallacher in the fourballs.

They will play Thomas Bjorn and Martin Kaymer in Saturday’s fourballs, while Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson play Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar.

Jamie Donaldson and Lee Westwood face Jim Furyk and Hunter Mahan, and McIlroy and Poulter team up to take on Jimmy Walker and Rickie Fowler.