Europe’s victory in last week’s Ryder Cup wasn’t the only one-sided slugfest at Gleneagles. A Golf.com poll shows fans are unified behind Phil Mickelson in his row with American captain Tom Watson over why America lost the biennial battle yet again.
The poll of 694 fans showed 80% siding with Mickelson, who publicly criticized Watson in the immediate aftermath of Europe’s 16.5-11.5 win. Just 20% of fans supported Watson, the 65-year-old legend who was widely perceived as being out of touch with his players and overly brusque in his communications.
Since the initial public scuffle, reports leaked of a nasty team meeting on the Saturday night at Gleneagles during which Watson allegedly scoffed at a gift from the players (a signed replica of the Ryder Cup trophy) and scolded them for their poor play. It has also emerged that Watson performed a last-minute flip flop on his final captain’s pick, dropping Bill Haas in favor of Webb Simpson, who performed poorly in the event. Last weekend Watson released a public statement apologizing to the team, saying, “I take complete responsibility for my communication, and I regret that my words my have made the players feel that I didn’t appreciate their commitment and dedication to winning the Ryder Cup.”