“I know for a fact that all the players were brought together with their caddies and Tom walked amongst them and said, ‘Tell me who you want to play with. Write it down on a sheet of paper, and all of you tell me who you want to play with. Let me know.’ And everyone but one person contributed there.
“So what Phil said was not, in fact, true. They were allowed to contribute – and who they played with was pretty much the way Paul Azinger went about his captaincy.”
Chamblee continued by saying that Watson has been “unfairly denigrated” in the wake of another loss by the Americans, their eighth in the past 10 cups.
“He captained the way he played,” Chamblee said. “Maybe he didn’t have the best bedside manner, but in an age where you’re rewarded lavishly for succeeding in the game and punished monetarily for failing in the game, in an event where pride is always at stake, if you lose – and I think this is what Tom Watson was trying to get across to his team – there should be some loss of pride.”
And instead of taking shots at Watson, Chamblee said Mickelson might have been better served looking in the mirror.
“Tom Watson wasn't on the last 10 Ryder Cup teams,” Chamblee said. “Nor was Tiger Woods. The one common denominator is Phil Mickelson.
“Phil Mickelson has been on the last 10 Ryder Cup teams. They’ve lost eight of them. I’m not saying it’s Phil’s fault, but it’s not Paul Azinger’s fault that they won and it’s not Tom Watson’s fault that they lost. The players should take enough pride (and accountability) in the outcome of the Ryder Cup – in particular the player leaders.”