The Hushed History of Trashing Team Captains

Tom Watson isn’t the first team captain to be trashed by his players. According to this report, there was griping about almost every Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup captain, especially after a loss. David Graham, shown at the inaugural Presidents Cup in 1994, was forced to resign as captain of the Internationals or face mutiny. When he did, he said, “I wished I’d never heard of the damn thing.”

Mama, don’t let your babies grow up to be captains, at least not Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup captains. Oh, it’s not a bad gig if your team wins, but have mercy on him who captains a losing squad.

Just ask U.S. captain Tom Watson, who’s been trashed by his players — most notably, Phil Mickelson — since the 2014 Ryder Cup ended last month. But Watson is not alone. According to a story posted yesterday, he’s just another in a long line of captains (e.g., Floyd shown below at this year’s Ryder Cup, Pavin, Strange, Sutton) whose historic careers as hall-of-fame players took a hit — albeit a more hushed hit than Watson’s — as a result of being captain.



Before Watson’s trashing, the captain who took the most heat was David Graham, who captained the International team to a 20-12 loss to the U.S. in the 1994 Presidents Cup. BTW, he was elected the World Golf Hall of Fame this week, which proves that these post-cup catastrophes are forgiven but not entirely forgotten.

Check out how the tension between Graham and his players forced him to resign from the Presidents Cup, disgraced, embarrassed and wishing he’d “never heard of the damn thing.”


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