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Ryder Cup Captains Disagree Over Wildcards
Wildcards or no wildcards? That is the question. Or at least it is for Tom Watson and Paul McGinley, who had a good-natured disagreement on that very subject at Gleneagles on Tuesday.
United States skipper Watson firmly believes it would be good thing for all 12 players in each team to earn an automatic spot through their respective money lists, eliminating the wildcard selections entirely, while Europe captain McGinley has a different view on the matter.
Watson, speaking at a news conference in Scotland to mark the one-year countdown to next year's biennial team event, said of his proposal: "If you really look at it, the purist form of Ryder Cup would be no captain's picks and 12 players who qualify."
He added: "I reduced my picks this year from four to three and was thinking actually two because I wanted the players who are playing to get on the team, to have that as a goal.
"If they get there then they have earned something very, very special and maybe we should go back to no picks."
Unsurprisingly, European skipper McGinley chose to highlight the amount of European golfers who ply their livings on the US Tour as a reason for keeping the wildcard system operational.
"It's a different dynamic on the European side when we have so many players playing on the PGA Tour so let's defer that one, thank you," said the Irishman with a friendly grin.
The hectic schedule for both Watson and McGinley throughout Monday and Tuesday allowed both men a chance to spend time with one another and they said to have enjoyed each other’s company.
Eight-time major winner Watson’s mood was somewhat less jovial when the 64-year-old was quizzed about being the oldest captain in the history of the event, however, and he retorted this reply to journalists: "Age is not an issue at all because the players that will be on my team know I've been a player at the Ryder Cup. They know I've been a captain (in 1993) and they know that I know that they know ... and that's all that matters."