To me, the Tiger/Phil partnership was a too big to fail type situation. If they won, they should have, but if somehow the European beat them the momentum they would get from beating the #1 and #2 player in the world would be enormous. I think it could have only worked in the European's team favor.
This combined with your spread the wealth comment made it a very poor choice.
I think a moment like the one in this article: http://www.golfchannel.com/news/golf-central-blog/vice-captain-woods-offers-local-knowledge-reed, speaks most strongly to the potential value (for this or future Ryder Cups) of the reset in the U.S. team approach.
It's easy to put some blame on Sutton, but it would also be easy to just say perhaps if Phil and/or Tiger made 3 more putts or hit 3 better shots over the course of those two matches then they win and everyone is praising Sutton. Such is the nature of Monday morning quarterbacking.
Actually, scratch that. They'd still lose because even that 4 point swing only moves it to 16.5-11.5. Sutton would still get criticized but for different reasons. "Why did he put the best two players together and leave all the other weaker players exposed? He should have spread the wealth."
The more I think about it, the more I think this job would really suck.