Sports Illustrated's Mark Godich polled Golf Magazine's Top 100 Teachers in America to see what they thought about the selection of Tom Watson as 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup captain. An overwhelming majority of them supported Watson as captain, most noting Watson's track record in Scotland, his popularity overseas and the respect he commands from everyone in golf. Below are the results along with commentary from some of the teachers.
"Great choice! He knows golf in Scotland better than any American, his attitude of adjusting to conditions to get the job done will be key if weather plays a role in this Ryder Cup. The Scots may pull for America more than the European Team if no Scots make the team. They love Watson and hate the English!" — Jon Tattersall, Terminus Club, Atlanta
"I hope he uses one of his Captain's picks on himself. " — Brady Riggs, Woodley Lakes Golf Club, Van Nuys, Calif.
"Without a doubt, Tom Watson is the man. It's sad it has taken the PGA this long to think unconventional." — Shawn Humphries, Cowboys Golf Club, Grapevine, Texas
"Let face it, with all due respect to Larry Nelson and David Toms, they do not have the presence and intimidation factor that Tom Watson has. Larry and David will not do anything to move the rating needle either, whereas Tom is loved around the world, especially in the UK. The crowds will respect Tom more. On top of that he will bring home a win!" — Eric Johnson, Oakmont (Pa) Country Club
"It should have been Larry Nelson." — Kip Puterbaugh, Aviara Golf Academy, Carlsbad, Calif.
"The successful Captains (and players) have played the game with great passion and emotion. Azinger, Ballesteros, Poulter, Montgomery, Ollie; not Nicklaus, Woods or Watson. The Ryder Cup is about passion." — Jim Hardy, The Plane Truth Golf Instruction, Springfield, Texas