AN ANALYSIS OF RYDER CUP CAPTAIN'S PICKS OVER THE PAST 20 YEARS
Tom Watson announced today that he is reducing his 2014 Ryder Cup captain’s picks from 4 to 3. The numbers show he should be doing the opposite.
Over the last 20 years, the captain’s picks have greatly outperformed the players that get automatic spots on the U.S. Ryder Cup teams.
Watson’s decision seems to be based on fairness. He stated, “I think giving players the opportunity to earn a spot on merit is the right thing to do.” While this is a noble sentiment, the statistics suggests the captain’s intuition and subjective judgment may be the better approach. In a way, the numbers suggest the the U.S. should not want him to be fair, the U.S. should want him to be Tom Watson!