Ron Sirak

Elder Statesman

Continued (page 2 of 2)

The last time Watson was the Ryder Cup captain he created a bit of a stir by not allowing his players to sign autographs at the pre-event gala dinner, even blowing off members of the European team. Watson later apologized, but it does show the competitive fire he will bring to the U.S. team room.

"The most important thing is that we are going to pull out all the stops to beat you guys," Watson said to a member of the European media. "The bottom line is to win. That's the most important thing. I will do it in style and the grace in which we play the game."

Watson is adored in Scotland, in part because he's won the British Open five times and in part because of the classy and competitive way he handles both winning and losing. His fire will be appreciated by fans of the other side, and that might help the Americans.

"We're tired of losing," Watson said, in what amounted to his closing arguments for his selection. "I always said that early in my career, I learned to win by hating to lose. It's about time to start winning again for our team. That's the attitude that I hope that my players have, and it's time to stop losing."

Related: How the U.S. lost the Ryder Cup at Medinah

That's pretty much what the PGA of America had in mind when they decided on Watson as Ryder Cup captain.

Watson doesn't need to do anything new to change the fortunes of Team USA, he needs to do something old -- bring back the expectation that the Americans should win. They've seemed to be shackled by fear in recent years.

I can't think of anyone who can bring back that winning attitude better than Tom Watson. Now, how about making Jack Nicklaus an assistant captain? Talk about bringing a winning attitude into the team room.

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