What is always hammered into the players in any team situation is that they should keep fighting whatever the situation. The American Ryder Cup side did just that in 1999 to turn a 6 - 10 deficit into a win, while the Europeans did precisely the same in 2012.
However, when the US side of 2014 were trailing by 6-10 at Gleneagles, the atmosphere was hardly conducive to one more almighty turnaround. Rather did the team begin to unravel from the moment Tom Watson walked through the door of the team-room on the Saturday night.
"This team sucks,” was one version of how the US captain started his address; “This team stinks at foursomes” another. Neither was particularly edifying from this man of many majors.
Watson praised Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed but was roundly dismissive of the rest of them.
His alarmed audience should maybe have thought twice as to whether the moment was right to hand over the somewhat strange present they – or someone else - had prepared for him. Namely, a replica of the Ryder Cup with the US names engraved on the side.
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