I am watching the PGA press conference introducing Tom Watson as the next US Ryder Cup Captain. I love Tom Watson and think he has one of the greatest records in professional sport, still competing with players 40 years younger (isn’t golf a wonderful game!).
I recall a winters day at Paradise Island Golf Club in 1995, our first hole was the 10th, a dog leg left of around 360 yards. Tom teed it up, wearing shorts exposing huge calf muscles, and knocked it on the green, his first swing of the day! When I said how impressed I was, he flexed his arm and asked me to feel his muscle. “Not bad eh?”. I was already a fan, that clinched the deal.
However, his being made Ryder Cup Captain in 2014, isn’t exactly the way I want his career to finish. Being hammered by the European Team is a bad way to go out. The course is a slog designed by Nicklaus and in spite of annual EPGA events, the Centenary Course is the third best at the brilliant resort called Gleneagles. Perthshire Scotland has a long golf history, perhaps the longest in the game. Stirling is a wonderful historic city, and they’ve hosted epic battles before. It will take more than the experienced Tom Watson as Captain to win the Ryder Cup, even if it is against a US based European.
So, I am one of maybe three people not happy about today’s decision – the other two? Larry Nelson, who should have been Captain, and Denis Watson whose ex wife is now Tom’s wife (result of a romance that also has Scottish roots, The Rufflets Hotel in St Andrews…). The media has two years to discuss the next matches, the fun has begun, it will be a good two years.