Ian Poulter: Tom Watson is too old to lead the US Ryder Cup team

European Ryder Cup hero fires early jibe at opponent

Ian Poulter has suggested that America's veteran captain Tom Watson will be out of touch with his team in next year's Ryder Cup.

Eight-times major winner Watson, 63, was seen as an inspired choice when he was appointed and his star appeal and success considered an advantage over the lower profile of the European captain Paul McGinley.

But Poulter believes Watson's age will count against him and giving the job to Watson has handed the advantage to Europe. "In many ways Paul will know his players better than Tom will know his," Poulter said. "If for no other reason than he is a lot younger and so much closer to them in terms of playing,

"That may prove a big advantage. He will know what makes us tick and what we like – that's healthy.Tom, because of his age, will inevitably be slightly more detached from his team. He won't have played as much with the current crop of players."

Poulter, who inspired Europe's victorious comeback in Illinois last September with a remarkable display of putting, was very pleased McGinley, 46, was announced last month as the successor to Jose Maria Olazabal as captain.

Poulter said in Golf World magazine: "Common sense prevailed because it would have been very unjust to have given the job to Colin [Montgomerie]. While of course Colin was influential in our victory [in 2010], to give it to him again so soon would have been a "reaction" to Tom Watson's selection and I think it would have been the wrong reaction."

Poulter even claimed there could have been a mini-revolt among the European players if McGinley, who has been a skipper in the Seve Trophy team event and a vice-captain in the last two Ryder Cups, had not been put in charge. "It would have upset a lot of people as well as some of the players – and that becomes a very dangerous thing to do," said the 37-year-old.

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