Jack Nicklaus may not have had more than two decades between his two Ryder Cup captaincies like Tom Watson, but as a contemporary of the newest U.S. skipper and a six-time team member, he’s more than qualified to offer an opinion on the PGA of America’s decision to go “outside the box” for its selection.
And the 18-time major champion likes what he sees.
'He will do a fine job,' Nicklaus said. 'Tom always has been a wonderful golfer and remains one, but he is also a good leader. He has had a lot of experience in the Ryder Cup, as a player and a previous captain. So I am certain that when he goes to Gleneagles, he will prepare properly to do a nice job.'
A three-time winner of the Open Championship, Nicklaus knows a few things about playing on foreign soil, and believes Watson – who won five Open titles himself – is the right man for the job.
'One thing is for certain: He will be well-embraced by the people and golf fans in Scotland,' Nicklaus continued. 'If you just look at Tom's history and legacy there, I guess you could say that if they wanted to pick a winner in Scotland to lead them in Scotland, they have done that.'
'The love and embrace Tom will receive in Scotland as a Ryder Cup captain will likely be the most anybody could ever hope for when leading a team on foreign soil.'