What They Said, What They Meant: Tom Watson Ryder Cup Practice Edition
By Geoff Shackelford__
__HOYLAKE, England -- Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson was ready to address the light player attendance for U.S. team practice rounds last weekend at Gleneagles. Only Keegan Bradley and Jim Furyk appeared at the Scottish resort, which is, admittedly not a convenient stopover for players en route to the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool.
After originally saying he invited "about 20" players to the practice sessions at his Open press conference on Monday, the 64-year-old Captain knocked that number down to "not that many" when asked by a reporter. Then Watson went back to the number 20.
But it was his explanation for the lack of attendance that proved both understandable, and also left us feeling like it needed to run through The Loop's special algorithm to translate what he meant.
First, here's what Captain Watson said to the media:
"I couldn't ask 20 players in December because the list hadn't been there, really. So I had to wait until a certain time, and I did it after the U.S. Open, started asking players. And I didn't expect too many to be able to make it. These guys have different plans. As I said, they played in a couple of different tournaments. It didn't bother me. If you're asking me that, it doesn't bother me at all."
And after The Loop ran it through our translator:
"I couldn't ask 20 players in December because the list hadn't been there, really and frankly, I couldn't have fathomed how lousy some of our stars and almost-stars would be playing. So I had to wait until a certain time, and I did it after the U.S. Open, started asking players, begging really, and boy do they make me beg, these kids today. And I didn't expect too many to be able to make it because, well, it's very hard to travel these days with private jets and first class tickets to pick up for their in-laws. These guys have different plans, and frankly, different stock portfolios than I ever did. As I said, they played in a couple of different tournaments. It didn't bother me. If you're asking me that, it doesn't bother me at all. No really, it doesn't bother me, not one bit. At all. Nada. Zilch. OK, maybe it was weird Patrick Reed said he was going to show and didn't."