Tom Watson makes perfect Ryder Cup selections for underdog U.S.
By JIM O'SHEA
College Contributor Network
Tom Watson made his captains picks for the U.S. Ryder Cup team on Tuesday and he could not have made better selections than Keegan Bradley, Hunter Mahan, and Webb Simpson.
The question going in was whether Watson would choose experienced, tested veterans or more inexperienced golfers currently riding a good wave of form. Well, he went with the first option and each one makes perfect sense.
Often considered the Robin to Phil Mickelson's Batman, the duo went 3-0 in the 2012 Ryder Cup -- including a 7-6 win over two of the best in Luke Donald and Lee Westwood. It's a team that feeds off each other's energy and when they get rolling ... well, the results speak for themselves.
He has plenty of experience in these types of competitions -- you only have to look back at last year. A member of the 2013 Presidents Cup team, he got a huge win and big point over young sensation Hideki Matsuyama in singles play on Sunday. Also, he won the tournament right before the FedEx Cup Playoffs less than a month ago. A veteran in a good vein of form, it doesn't get much better than that.
Simpson, the 2012 U.S. Open champion, has been in every Ryder/Presidents Cup since 2011 and the last time we saw him at this event he, like most of the Americans, lost his singles match on Sunday.
He was however, facing one of the best Ryder Cup players in Ian Poulter -- a man loves the energy and atmosphere of the tournament. Considering Simpson went 2-0 before squaring off against Poulter, he's well-deserving of a spot this time around.
Some however, were calling Tom Watson out for dishing a snub to Kirk, who won the Deutsche Bank Championship just last week.
Although this made him the hot pick going into Tuesday, Watson was right not to overreact to one performance, as Kirk did not have a top-40 finish in the three tournaments going into Boston.
Further working against him is the fact that he's never appeared in a team competition. Throwing a rookie into that atmosphere, especially on the road, just screams trouble.
With the United States big underdogs going into Gleneagles, experience could prove to be the key factor for the Americans to pull off the upset. The 2014 team is full of guys who competed in the infamous 2012 event, so they will be looking to exact revenge on the Europeans who pulled off that incredible comeback.
Tom Watson knew what he was doing when he made his picks on Tuesday and he knows what it takes to win across the pond. He has won The Open Championship five times, with those all coming in a span of nine years. So you may bet against Watson's team, but watch out: the experience and motivation in his crew gives the U.S. a chance to shock the world.
Jim O'Shea is a junior at Syracuse University studying Broadcast and Digital Journalism. Born and raised in Houston, TX. He's an avid Texans and Texas Rangers fan. Also golf is his favorite sport. Follow him on Twitter: @JimOShea4