Wednesday, March 20

Captain Watson Hopes Porridge Is Just Right

Tom Watson
THE PORRIDGE IS TOO HOT. The porridge is too cold. The porridge is just right!

Maybe the story about Goldilocks and the three bears suggests why U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson announced today that he will reduce the number of wildcard picks from four to three.

Two weren't enough picks. Heading into 2014 at Gleneagles, four are too many picks. Will three be just right?

It was Paul Azinger who increased the U.S. captain's picks from two to four in 2008. That U.S. team won at Valhalla near Louisville. But it has been all Europe since then, with wins at Celtic Manor in 2010 and Medinah in 2012. In fact, Europe has won seven of nine Ryder Cups dating back to 1995.

A lot is made of the captain's picks. Perhaps too much. Of course, some of the picks haven't worked out well. (Picked players face enormous pressure.) Frankly, the wildcard picks have arguably become the most critical aspect of the captaincy.

"There's not a lot of method in my madness," Watson said in announcing the change, "but I think the players ought to have another shot of getting on the team by merit.

"I ran it by three or four recent captains. We had long conversations about it and all of them said it was a good decision."

So Captain Watson will be playing "traditional poker." He can only draw three. What do you think?

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