Phil Mickelson gives way to Tiger Woods

Before becoming the player who symbolized the birth of LIV Golf, Phil Mickelson was the absolute favorite for the position of Captain of Team USA which will take the field in Bethpage

by Andrea Gussoni
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Phil Mickelson gives way to Tiger Woods
© Quinn Harris / Getty Images Sport

Before becoming the player who symbolized the birth of LIV Golf, Phil Mickelson was the absolute favorite for the position of Captain of Team USA which will take the field in Bethpage. Then the "war" broke out between the Tours, and the left-handed Californian was at the forefront for a long time alongside Greg Norman, before gradually retreating to a secondary position.

He has reduced his relations with the press, dedicating himself to his Team HiFlyers, which finished the 2023 season in ninth place in the team standings.

Phil Mickelson, statements

Last Wednesday, Mickelson, a guest on "The Pat Mcafee Show" on ESPN, returned to the topic: “I don't think I'm the right man to be involved with the Ryder Cup Team because, at the moment, he represents a big element of division” “I understand PGA Tour players, there is a lot of hostility towards me, and I don't think I could be the best leader” “I think as a Ryder Cup captain, you have to be a uniting figure based on strong relationships, and I'm extremely divisive right now, and I accept that”.

“I knew it would happen, I knew that in the space of a couple of years I would receive a lot of criticism and I would create a strong division”. Once Mickelson's star has faded, at the moment the rumors about the name of the next Captain of Team USA speak of Tiger Woods being the favorite over Stewart Cink and Matt Kuchar.

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.

In fact, thanks to an unscrupulous game (risky in jargon), made up of imaginative and sometimes impossible recoveries, he has often been able to keep up with athletes who are younger and in better shape than him. Particularly famous for his spectacular approaches (e.g. the Phil flop) he is considered among the best players in the history of golf around the green.

Phil Mickelson Tiger Woods Liv Golf
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