Pretty soon we will get a new news cycle. Ok, maybe not pretty soon.
The post-Ryder Cup controversy continues to have legs that would make the memory of Betty Grable blush.
So before we move on to the beginning of the wraparound season on the PGA Tour and the conclusion of the European Tour, here’s one more take on Watson vs. Mickelson.
In other sports they call them “players’ coaches.”
A players’ coach is willing to submerge his ego to promote the egos of his players.
Tom Watson was not a players’ coach. Paul McGinley was.
When his players faltered late Friday and Saturday at Gleneagles two weeks ago, a tone deaf Watson announced to the world that they needed to “play better.”
They knew they needed to play better. The world knew they needed to play better.
A players coach would have said something like this: My players are among the best in the world. They’re struggling right now. I need to find a way to make them play better. That’s my job.
Instead Watson kept telling them something they already knew. Play better.
The past two winning U.S. Ryder Cup teams were led by captains – Ben Crenshaw in 1999 and Paul Azinger in 2008 – who were players’ captains.
On Saturday night, down 10-6, Crenshaw told his players he had a “good feeling” about Sunday. In the same situation Tom Watson reportedly told his players that they “sucked.”
Crenshaw’s team won Sunday. Watson’s didn’t.
Watson was the wrong guy in the wrong place at the wrong time. His counterpart, Paul McGinley, schooled Watson.
The answer in the future?
Yes, play better is important. Almost as important is finding a leader who puts those players in the best position to play better.
Tom Watson was not that guy.