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Tom Watson suggests new method of Ryder Cup selection

Tom Watson, who captained the Americans to victory in the 1993 Ryder Cup in England, believes the U.S. points system should be revised to assemble a better team to compete against Europe in the next edition.

"Right now only the top 10 players from each tournament earn Ryder Cup points. I think the top 10 Americans in each tournament should get points," Watson told Reuters in a telephone interview on Tuesday.

Responding to the 18-1/2 points to 9-1/2 beating suffered by the U.S. side last weekend at The K Club, Watson said:

"In the last several years international players have dominated the top 10, leaving fewer points for Americans to earn to get on the Ryder Cup team.

"A person who wins a tournament pretty much is assured a pretty good shot at getting on the team. Before you had to win a couple of tournaments to get on the team."

U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Lehman kept just such a list himself this year to help evaluate players for the two captain's picks he used to complete his 12-man team.

Lehman's selections, Stewart Cink and Scott Verplank, were second and tied for third on the points chart for the U.S. team with 2.5 points and 2.0 respectively.

Watson, a winner of eight majors and a player on three victorious U.S. Ryder Cup teams and another that tied, said the Europeans had routed the Americans by the same margin they enjoyed two years ago because they were vastly superior.

"We got beat by a much superior team, both this year and two years ago," he said. "Not just a superior team but a much superior team."

Watson, promoting next month's Manhattan Golf Classic where he will play a Skins Game partnering entrepreneur Donald Trump against the LPGA's Annika Sorenstam and Natalie Gulbis, said the Ryder Cup might not get any easier for the Americans.

The 57-year-old noted that most of the world's best young players are from outside the U.S.

"It's all international players we have to talk about. Without question," said Watson.

But he indicated that the situation should change over time, adding: "Just a matter of the cycle, you might say."

September 27, 2006


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