Tom Watson in the firing line
Outgoing US Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson accepts he has to take the blame for his team’s hammering against Europe at Gleneagles last weekend.
US team member Phil Mickelson pulled few punches as he suggested Watson has made mistakes in his mauling at the hands of Rory McIlroy and company and now the golfing great has spoken out to suggest his critics are right to point the finger of blame at him.
"I take complete and full responsibility for my communication, and I regret that my words may have made the players feel that I didn't appreciate their commitment and dedication to winning the Ryder Cup," said Watson.
"My intentions throughout my term as captain were both to inspire and to be honest.
"As for Phil's comments, I completely understand his reaction in the moment.
"Earlier this week I had an open and candid conversation with him and it ended with a better understanding of each other's perspectives.
"Phil's heart and intentions for our Team's success have always been in the right place. Phil is a great player, has great passion and I admire what he's done for golf.
"The bottom line is this. I was their captain. In hindsight whatever mistakes that were made were mine. And I take complete and full responsibility for them.
"I want to say again to the players, their families, the PGA and our country how proud and honoured I was to captain this talented group of golfers, and how privileged I was to spend the past two years working this labour of my love for the Ryder Cup."
On the performance of his team, Watson added: "The guys gave everything. They played their hearts out. I was proud to get to know each and every one of them. I know they are all going to win tournaments, be on future Ryder Cup teams and have wonderful careers.
"Our team certainly showed guts when it took it to the other team early in Sunday's singles matches. We were indeed tied with them as the scoreboard turned wonderfully "red".
"Our players started fast as I had asked them to in my comments the night before. I asked them to really concentrate on holes two to five, as the Europeans had won too many early battles on these particular holes.
"In the end, the facts are that the other team played better. My hat's off and congratulations to them."