The Loop

Report: Tom Watson angered Phil Mickelson, disregarded gift in team meeting

October 03, 2014

Tom Watson's Ryder Cup captaincy has been the subject of much debate following the United States' five-point loss at Gleneagles, and a recent report from ESPN's Bob Harig will hardly do anything to quash that discussion.


The piece is certainly worth reading in its entirety, but here's a selection:

After praising the rookie team of Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth, Watson went through the Sunday singles pairings and ridiculed several members of the European side as he went through the matchups. Soon after, Watson was presented a gift by Furyk, a replica of the Ryder Cup trophy that was signed by every member of the team. Instead of thanking them, the sources said Watson said the gift meant nothing to him if the players didn't get the real Ryder Cup on Sunday and that he wanted to be holding it aloft on the green in victory.

Said one of the sources: "That's almost verbatim. He said it basically means nothing to me.'"

The following day, Harig reports, Watson approached several players after their match and told them "they should have played better." Things came to a head a few hours later, when Mickelson launched a not-so-subtle attack on his captain at the team press conference.