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Wadkins: Watson just the butt-kicker U.S. needs

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ORLANDO, Fla. – Lanny Wadkins likes the idea Tom Watson will bring a “kick-in-the-butt” attitude to the U.S. captain’s role when the Americans travel to Scotland in the next Ryder Cup in 2014.

Wadkins is one of nine Ryder Cup captains playing in the PNC Father-Son Challenge at the Ritz Carlton Golf Club in Orlando this weekend. They followed Thursday’s announcement of Watson’s captaincy with much interest.

“I think something needed to be shook up somewhere,” Wadkins said after his pro-am round. “I think the PGA made a bold move. Tom’s an excellent captain. I played for him. I think maybe today’s players could use a Watson kick-in-the-butt type attitude. I think that would go a long way toward putting a win on the board. I think it’s the right move at the right time.”

Wadkins likes the idea that Watson won’t be leading by committee or though building a consensus.

“Tom will go there, and he’ll be in charge,” Wadkins said. “He knows what will work best, and what will work best in Scotland.

“This year was as strong a team as I’ve seen in a long time,” Wadkins said of the American team that lost to Europe in September after building a 10-6 lead going into Sunday singles. “I thought this was a very strong team from majors standpoint, from a rankings standpoint. That team had a great opportunity to go out and win 20 or 19 to whatever on the last day and make a statement that actually would have given us a big upper hand going into the next few years. Instead, we are behind the eight-ball again. I’m not blaming Davis [Love III]. Maybe a different kind of fire needs to be lit. Sometimes you play a little bit more aggressive when someone you’ve looked up to your whole life is looking over your shoulder instead of a peer.”