Is Tom Watson the next USA Ryder Cup Captain?
Straight out of the blue Tom Watson now appears to be a real contender for the captaincy of the 2014 USA Ryder Cup team. The growing speculation was started by Watson himself when asked by a reporter at last weeks Australian Open if he would be interested he replied:
"It would be a great honor if I got tapped on the shoulder ... `93 was the last time I've been to a Ryder Cup. I'd like to go back as captain. That would be cool."
So it looks as if he would take it if offered, but there is an un-written rule that USA Ryder Cup Captains come from an age group of 40-50 which would exclude Watson. It is unclear if this is because the USGA would like the incoming Captain to have recent experience of the players or simply to keep the captaincy fresh.
Watson certainly has the record to reverse the USA's recent poor Ryder Cup form having played on Ryder Cup teams in 1977, 1981, 1983 and 1989 and successfully captained the Americans to victory over Europe at The Belfry in
It certainly appears that the Europeans think it would be great choice for the USA with GMac and Ian Poulter reacting positively to the prospect of Watson leading the team. McDowell was questioned on the Golf Channel's Morning Drive:
“I know the PGA of America likes to pick them between 40 and 50 (years old), a U.S. PGA champion,” McDowell continued “But I would say they would change that (unofficial) rule if Tom Watson wants to captain the team in two years. That would be a fairly intimidating captain as a European player.”
2012 Ryder Cup Winner Ian Poulter said:
“I think Tom would be a great captain, He’s someone the whole team would respect. He has been around the game long, won so many majors, factored in so many majors. I think he would do a great job.”
Reaction has been mixed in the US with many commentators believing it would be backwards step. Although some think an inspirational and hugely respected figure such as Watson is just what the USA need. It certainly appears that the Americans need to do something radical to reverse the recent European domination and specultaion will continue to grow that Watson could be it!