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Tom Watson: I should have picked Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed

Tom Watson admitted to making a mistake by not picking Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed to play in the Ryder Cup foursomes on Friday.

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The rookie United States duo were anything but overawed by the occasion on the first day at Gleneagles as they beat Stephen Gallacher and Ian Poulter 5 and 4 in the fourballs.

That secured the USA's first point and they went on to lead 2 1/2 to 1 1/2 heading into the foursomes, but captain Watson then surprisingly opted against selecting Spieth and Reed.

Watson came in for criticism for that decision as Europe came storming back to lead 5-3 heading into the weekend, and the 65-year-old explained that he had been in two minds as to whether to send the young duo out for a second time in the day.

Reflecting on the first day, Watson said: "It started off looking pretty good, and then we didn't perform in the afternoon, and it's very disappointing. The players themselves are disappointed.

"I know the question is going to be asked about Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed, whether I should have played them in the afternoon, and I thought at the time it was the best decision not to play them.

"There were a variety of reasons, but I won't go into those. It was a decision that my vice-captains and I made. That was a decision that we felt very strongly for.

"I can tell you one comical thing, though. When I told Patrick that he wasn't going to play in the afternoon, it was comical at the time, not so comical now maybe but it was comical at the time. I said, "How does that make you feel?" He said, "Well, I'm all right with it." He said, "Well, really, Captain, I'm not all right with it." I said, "That's the way I want you to be."

"You can't play everybody. You're going to be second guessed, and obviously you're going to second guess me on that decision right there."

When quizzed about his failure to select Spieth and Reed again, Watson added: "I take the blame for that. I assessed that even though they won in the morning, there maybe was a better team in the afternoon.

"Again, I go back to the point where I say it from the beginning, I'm trying to make the best decisions at that time that I possibly can with the best information I have.

"And again, it's a collective decision, but the final decision is with me. And that decision not to play them was a hard decision to make. I had some doubt in making that decision, but my gut feeling said that was the right decision to make.

"You're never fully, fully certain when you make the decisions, because you just don't know how the outcome is going to be. You can't predict it. But with the information I had at hand, I felt that that was the best decision."

The young pair will be reunited when they face Thomas Bjorn and Martin Kaymer in Saturday's third fourball match.

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