Phil Mickelson: "Ryder, I can't lead the USA"

"I don't think I'm the right man. At the moment I am considered a very controversial character and I can understand it"

by Andrea Gussoni
Phil Mickelson: "Ryder, I can't lead the USA"
© Quinn Harris / Getty Images Sport

"I don't think I'm the right man. At the moment I am considered a very controversial character and I can understand it. The relationship with many members of the PGA Tour is certainly not the best and I would not be the right leader for the USA team now." With these words Phil Mickelson, for years the emblem of the top American golf circuit, was among the first to choose the league green separatist, the Arab Super League, has rejected any hypothesis that could see him leading the American team in the Ryder Cup in Bethpage (New York) in 2025.

Always in the team, as a player, from 1995 to 2018, vice-captain in 2021, "Lefty" was then suspended from the PGA Tour for his statements in favor of LIV Golf only to then choose the Arab Super League in June 2022.

Phil Mickelson, statements

"A captain must be someone to follow and emulate.

His role is to bring cohesion, unity", admitted the 53-year-old from San Diego who, in Bethpage, was twice ranked second at the US Open. And while Mickelson distances himself, the USA continues to dream of Tiger Woods as captain of a team called to redeem the clear defeat in the 2023 Ryder Cup in Rome.

He is one of 13 players in the history of golf to have won at least 3 of the 4 majors and also placed second in the US Open Championship six times without ever managing to win this tournament. With his victory in his second PGA Championship on May 23, 2021, he became, at 50 years, 11 months and 8 days, the oldest player to win one of the four major tournaments.

The exceptional performance on the Kiawah Island course - where he beat his compatriot Brooks Koepka and the South African Louis Oosthuizen, twenty years younger after a thrilling three-way duel - came eight years after the last major he won in 2013.

Mickelson, who had gradually slipped beyond the hundredth position in the world ranking, suddenly rose to number 32. Over the course of his almost thirty-year career he was in the top 10 in the world according to the Official World Golf Ranking for over 700 weeks, reaching second place on several occasions, but never first, in a period dominated by Tiger Woods, where Michelson was one of the few rivals capable of putting him in difficulty.

Phil Mickelson