US captain Tom Watson blamed ‘tiredness’ as his team picked up just a half-point in the foursomes for the second day running to leave his side heading into tomorrow’s single 10-6 down.
Knowing his players now need to perform their own Medinah ‘miracle’ in order to avoid their eighth defeat in ten Ryder Cups, a self-proclaimed “pumped up” Watson said his players would have to “smoke” the Europeans.
“We have to take ‘em out early,” said the US captain.
“We'll just see what happens. We'll see what transpires,” he said. “I have a few words I want to say to (the players).”
He added: “I have a trust in my players that they can get it done. I have an innate trust. I've gotten to really know them, and they have what it takes. They are just going to have to play better. They know that. They know absolutely what they have to do.
“We've got to smoke 'em. We've to take them out early. That's the whole point of the way we set this up.”
Watson said he was rewarding his young duo Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed and for their attitude this week by sticking them out early. Spieth will face Graeme McDowell in the first match, with Reed facing Reed in the next match.
Watson said he realised Jimmy Walker was tired this afternoon, but resisted dropping him as he was playing well. “That was my calculated decision, because I thought they were playing very well.”
“What they exude is the belief that they can do this." - Tom Watson
Phil Mickelson was benched for the entire day but asked to be played only for his captain to tell him ‘no’.
“I played him two rounds yesterday and he was tired last night. I sat at the table with him. He was exhausted. And maybe that was the wrong choice for me playing him two rounds.”
Watson said Mickelson told him he had a good foursomes record and wanted to play, only for the US captain to have other ideas.
“Today I came back up to the clubhouse and talked to him and Keegan and Webb, and said they would be sitting in the afternoon. I tell you, I expected exactly what Phil said to me. He said, ‘We can get it done, captain. We want the chance’. I said, ‘Well, I think the way this golf course sets up, the four teams I put out there gives us the best chance’. He lobbied again. He texted me, he said, ‘Give us a chance’. I had to tell him no.”
His tactic for tomorrow is to “run the tables”, adding that his players have the belief that they can turn it around.
“What they exude is the belief that they can do this,” he said. “I know that. I see it. I get that feeling from them. That’s all I've asked of them is that they have the belief in themselves, because I sure as hell believe in them.”
Graeme McDowell vs. Jordan Spieth
Henrik Stenson vs. Patrick Reed
Rory McIlroy vs. Rickie Fowler
Justin Rose vs. Hunter Mahan
Stephen Gallacher vs. Phil Mickelson
Martin Kaymer vs. Bubba Watson
Thomas Bjorn vs. Matt Kuchar
Sergio Garcia vs. Jim Furyk
Ian Poulter vs. Webb Simpson
Jamie Donaldson vs. Keegan Bradley
Lee Westwood vs. Jimmy Walker
Victor Dubuisson vs. Zach Johnson
Tom Watson's side :: Can they do it?
Can the US team captained by Tom Watson overhaul a 10-6 deficit to win the Ryder Cup on Sunday? Leave your thoughts in our 'Comments' section below.