Did Tom Watson make a mistake in not sending Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed back out in the afternoon foursomes session after the rookies’ dominating four-ball victory against Ian Poulter and Stephen Gallacher?
Spieth said he was “100 percent certain” he and Reed would play in the afternoon session after they rolled in their first match. Spieth said Watson indicated he would pick two pairings from the morning session and send them out with the four players who didn’t play the morning.
Watson ultimately chose to keep Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley out there along with Jimmy Walker and Rickie Fowler.
“They were very upset with me for not playing them this afternoon. I said, I know you’re going to be mad at me, but you’ll be playing tomorrow for sure,” Watson said.
The case can be made that Mickelson and Bradley earned it with their come from behind win against the team of Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy and Walker and Fowler gutted out a halve in their match, winning the 18th hole.
But when Mickelson and Bradley fell behind early in their foursomes match against Victor Dubuisson and Graeme McDowell, the decision to sit Spieth and Reed drew more attention.
Funny how things change. Two years ago, captain Davis Love III was criticized for sitting Mickelson and Bradley on Saturday afternoon after they won their first three matches.
As Mickelson pointed out earlier this week, Love’s decision in 2012 made no difference in the outcome. Love played Webb Simpson and Bubba Watson instead that afternoon and they won their match.