• Europeans 'just played better' insists Nicklaus.
• 'Golden Bear' also questions need for 'Task Force'
Jack Nicklaus has defended Tom Watson’s captaincy of the American Ryder Cup team and insisted that the sole difference between the two sides was the Europeans ‘just played better’.
Speaking in Florida where he was official re-opening his championship course at the PGA National Resort, 18-time major winner Jicklaus rallied to the defence of his embattled friend and former sparring partner Watson.
Following a comprehensive 16½-11½ defeat at Gleneagles, Watson has come in for heavy criticism from fans, the media and even his own players. However, Nicklaus believes those comments are wide of the mark.
“It doesn’t make any difference how much planning you do, if the other team plays better, they’re going to win,” he told reporters in the States.
He also defended Watson, pictured below, against criticism of his preparation for the match.
“He went to I don’t know how many tournaments,” said Nicklaus. “He knew he was older, so he had to get to know the kids, who he was going to pick, and what to do.
“Tom, Raymond , Andy North and Steve Stricker made the selections and pairings, did what they thought was best, and probably did a pretty good job.”
Jack Nicklaus, who won the Ryder Cup as captain in 1983 but then lost in the same role four years later, also expressed his surprise that the PGA of America has formed a ‘Task Force’ to address the issues that have led to the US losing eight of the last ten Ryder Cups.
“When I had teams and guys had problems, we went back to the team room and talked about it,” said the 74-year-old. “That’s where the conversation should be. I feel the same about the task force thing. That’s sort of overkill. We’ve had 70 years of the Ryder Cup and it’s gotten along just fine. The pendulum will swing back without making a monumental thing about it.”
Jack Nicklaus’ comments :: your thoughts
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