The following is a list of the top five blunders that Team USA captain Tom Watson made at the 2014 Ryder Cup. Watson made some very dubious and questionable decisions over the first two days at Gleneagles.
The biggest complaint I have with Tom Watson is that he did not use his available talent well as outlined below. Why keep sending out players who have already proven they are not good at Ryder Cup play?
Top five 2014 Ryder Cup blunders by USA captain Tom Watson
1. Did not play Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed on Friday afternoon
Ryder Cup rookies Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed destroyed Ian Poulter and Stephen Gallacher on Friday morning, but Tom Watson inexplicably sat the dynamic rookies in the afternoon session. Why?, so proven USA Ryder Cup competitors with bad records could go and out lose again? Taking down Ian Poulter is big, the guy has an amazing Ryder Cup record.
2. Playing 44 year old Phil Mickelson on Friday afternoon
On Friday morning, Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley upset Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia in a big win for USA (and this fan who bet them to win). The win kept Bradley and Mickelson undefeated together in Ryder Cup play, but then Watson sent them literally right back out to play in the afternoon even though Phil Mickelson is 44 years old.
Mickelson played well to start but he obviously got tired later on and Victor Dubiosson and Graeme McDowell handed Bradley and Mickelson their first defeat together in Ryder Cup play. Dumb decision and a bad use of your talent.
3. Watson should have paired Keegan Bradley with another player Friday afternoon
While Phil Mickelson is 44 years old, Keegan Bradley is just 28. Given the success Bradley has had in Ryder Cup play, Tom Watson should have paired him with another USA player on Friday afternoon.
4. Tom Watson did not use Phil Mickelson or Keegan Bradley on Saturday at all
After foolishly making Phil Mickelson play in back-to-back matches on Friday, Tom Watson did not use Mickelson or Keegan Bradley at all on Saturday. While the USA held its own in the Saturday morning session, the team got clobbered in the afternoon. Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley could have changed that but they were not given the chance.
5. Tom Watson should have given Billy Horschel or Chris Kirk a chance to be on team
I have no complaint with the selection of Keegan Bradley, but Tom Watson’s other two captain’s picks for Team USA, Webb Simpson and Hunter Mahan, went a combined 1-3 on Friday and Saturday. It’s pretty clear the USA team needs more new blood and Horschel and Kirk could have been that new blood.