Thursday 22 August 2019

Watson left trailing by 'modern' approach

Paul McGinley was unquestionably not boasting when describing his personal approach to Ryder Cup captaincy, but nevertheless neatly summed up the difference between himself and opposite number Tom Watson.

"I always felt once the morning session was on, I was planning the move for the afternoon," McGinley said. "I always felt I was half a day ahead."

McGinley certainly deserved all the praise which came his way after Europe retained the Ryder Cup with a five-point victory over the United States at Gleneagles.

The 47-year-old Dubliner was hailed as "modern" and "methodical" by Sergio Garcia, "absolutely immense" by Rory McIlroy and a model for future captains by Lee Westwood, who was playing under his ninth different captain.

In contrast, 65-year-old Watson was openly criticised by Phil Mickelson, just two hours after the contest was over, with Mickelson himself then strongly criticised for making his feelings known in public.

With Watson sitting just a few feet away, Mickelson - who had been left out of a full day's play on Saturday for the first time in 10 Ryder Cup appearances - stated his support for the methods of Paul Azinger, who captained the side to their last win at Valhalla in 2008.

Former PGA Tour player Brandel Chamblee, who now works as an analyst for the Golf Channel, said: "That was as close to a one-man mutiny as I have ever seen.

"If you are looking for a reason why the US continues to lose you just saw it in one man, Phil Mickelson.

"Phil Mickelson, along with the best players of that era, have so corrupted the experience of the Ryder Cup by not having records anywhere near where they should given their rank in the game."

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