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Old-School Watson Meets Youthful Ryder Candidates

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. | When 64-year-old Tom Watson played in the RBC Heritage two weeks ago at Harbour Town, it wasn’t just to relive his two wins under the famous lighthouse there, though Watson did find himself doing interviews in front of a painting of himself that hangs in one wing of the clubhouse.
Watson’s last victory at Harbour Town was 32 years ago – before Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth and Harris English were born.
At this moment, five months before fingers go numb in Gleneagles, Scotland, those four relative youngsters are on the U.S. Ryder Cup team Watson will captain, most likely without Tiger Woods. Much will change between now and September but Watson is busy introducing himself to players who know of him but, until now, may not have known him.
If the Ryder Cup matches don’t perpetually percolate in the States the way they do overseas, the flame has been lit in Watson. He’s done this before – in 1993 when the Americans slipped away with a narrow victory at The Belfry in England – but the times and the players have changed.
One thing hasn’t changed.
“You’re still looking for the players that are playing the best,” Watson said. “You’re looking for players that have heart and guts.”
When Watson looks at the current U.S. team standings, he sees Zach Johnson, Webb Simpson, Keegan Bradley, Brandt Snedeker, Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker and Woods outside looking in.


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