Captain Watson explains decision to sit Spieth/Reed
By Bernie D'Amato under Ryder Cup


Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed dominated their morning fourball match against Ian Poulter and Stephen Gallacher. The Ryder Cup rookies made six birdies, won 5&4, and hoped to be paired again in the afternoon foursome matches. However, they were told to warm the bench instead.

After the morning match, Spieth said, “We kind of convinced the Captain that we were a great best ball team. That was our strong format. We played extremely well in alternate shot as well. It means a lot that he has that trust in us. Hopefully, he puts us out this afternoon in another one.”

During the Friday evening press conference, Tom Watson mentioned a conversation he had with Patrick Reed earlier in the day. “When I told Patrick that he wasn’t going to play in the afternoon, it was comical at the time, not so comical now maybe, but it was comical at the time. I said, ‘How does that make you feel?’ [Patrick] said, ‘Well, I’m all right with it.’ He said, ‘Well, really, Captain, I’m not all right with it.’ I said, ‘That’s the way I want you to be.’ You can’t play everybody. You’re going to be second guessed, and obviously you’re going to second guess me on that decision right there.”

Later on in the presser, Watson took the blame for telling the team that the two best pairings in the morning would be paired again in the afternoon.

“I take the blame for that. I assessed that even though they won in the morning, that there maybe was a better [foursome team in the afternoon]. Again, I go back to the point where I say it from the beginning, I’m trying to make the best decisions at that time that I possibly can with the best information I have.”

It’s similar to baseball where you always look for the percentage advantage, and then hope for your guys to come through. It didn’t work Friday afternoon, and thankfully, the Americans have time to recover from the 5-3 deficit.

Spieth and Reed will be paired against Thomas Bjorn and Martin Kaymer in the Saturday morning fourball. No extra motivation will be necessary for the two rookies.

–Bernie D’Amato