Pros advice

Andrew Coltart believes unbalanced pairings cost USA Ryder Cup

In the wake of Callaway golfer Phil Mickelson’s candid evaluation of his team’s 16 ½ -11½ defeat to Europe in the Ryder Cup – in which he praised the methods used by Paul Azinger in 2008 while simultaneously slamming captain Tom Watson’s philosophies – Andrew Coltart has thrown his two cents into the argument by claiming the USA lost because of Watson’s inability to select formidable pairings in the event.

Speaking on Sky Sports’ review show How the Ryder Cup was Won, Coltart suggested that the USA succumbed because of mistakes made by captain Tom Watson not choosing better pairings to face off against Europe.

Watson left Ryder Cup debutants Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed out of Friday’s foursomes, despite the youngsters decimating the likes of experienced Cobra golfer Ian Poulter and TaylorMade’s Stephen Gallacher 5&4 in fourballs.

On top of that, Watson also opted to leave Mickelson and Keegan Bradley – the same partnership that won three points at Medinah two years ago – out of Saturday’s session, which left Coltart surprised.

“Coming into the Ryder Cup as a rookie can be very intimidating but Spieth and Reed gelled well, played fantastically out on the course and destroyed Poulter and Gallacher,” said Coltart, who played for Europe in the 1999 Ryder Cup at Brookline.

“It was so bizarre that they were left out on Friday afternoon after that performance and also because they are young and could easily have played five matches across the week.

“They must have been gutted, while the decision would also have shocked the players in the team room, and perhaps that highlighted some of the fractures in the camp.

“To then see Mickelson and Bradley sit out the whole of Saturday was a bit of a slight on their partnership and odd considering Bradley was picked as a wildcard because he is the foil to Phil.

“They begged to play in the afternoon but Tom said: ‘No, it’s my way or the highway’ and you could see then things weren’t right.”

However, Coltart laid a glowing tribute to victorious European captain Paul McGinley, who easily guided his team to their third Ryder Cup win in a row and the eighth in the last 10 events.

“Paul has been one of the best captains over the last 20 years,” added Coltart.

“He was meticulous, used the stats and did thorough research – he knew everything about each and every player in his team and how to get the most out of them.”

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