Tom Watson defends wildcard selections for U.S team

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United States Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson has defended his wildcard decisions and insisted he didn't make them too early, according to Sky Sports.

His three picks have been questioned after the brilliant form shown by Chris Kirk and Billy Horschel in recent weeks, both of which were overlooked as wildcard picks.

Kirk won Deutsche Bank Championship the day before the captain's picks were announced before finishing fourth in last week's Tour Championship in Atlanta.

£7 million

Meanwhile, Horschel has won the last two Fed-Ex play-off events and the overall title landing him over £7million. But Watson made his selections on September 2 choosing Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson and Hunter Mahan.

At the time there wasn't too many disagreements with the personnel but after recent events many people are now questioning the timing of the selection.

No alternative

However, Watson, who captained the U.S In their last victory on European soil in 1993, believes that he had no alternative but to name the squad when he did.

"In '93 I made my two picks after the PGA (Championship), six weeks before the Ryder Cup.

"Three weeks out is a logical place to make your final picks because logistically there are so many different things that go into it to get the players over there, get their clothing, get their families involved.

“It would be awfully difficult to make a decision the week before. From a time standpoint it would not make any sense."

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Watson admitted that he had considered Horschel as a wildcard pick but felt he justifiably left him out.

"I texted Billy last week and said 'You're a day late but not a dollar short' (a reference to the prize money Horschel won in Atlanta). He was on my radar earlier in the year and I like his swing, his fundamentals and his attitude, but he just did not perform well enough to get on the team."

Ready to take the blame

The U.S. are attempting to avoid their eighth defeat in 10 Ryder Cups and Watson admits that he'll take the blame if they are to lose again.

He added: "I'm prepared for that. I have some thick skin.

"I'm trying to make the best decisions I can at the time. If the players lose rather than win, I don't care. I will take the blame. If and when we win the Ryder Cup, I will stand aside and give all the credit to the players and caddies. That's where it's due."


The U.S. team head into the event as underdogs as Europe boast world number one Rory McIlroy in their ranks. But Watson feels that if his team can defeat McIlroy in a match during the three-day event they can build momentum from it.

"You knock off the big dog and that gives a boost to your team without a doubt."

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