Mickelson: Ryder Cup setup ‘almost unplayable’


Although he credited Europe for setting up the Le Golf National course to its benefit during the Ryder Cup, Phil Mickelson said he is not a fan of that type of golf and would strive in the future to avoid such layouts.

Mickelson, who went 0-2 for the United States in a 17½-10½ loss to Europe and admitted he was in poor form for his 12th straight appearance in the event, is playing in the Safeway Classic in Napa, California, where he trails leader Brandt Snedeker by three strokes after the second round on Friday.

“The Europeans did a great thing: They did the opposite of what we do when we have the Ryder Cup here,” Mickelson, who was referring to the ability of the home team to dictate the way the course is set up, said on Thursday. “The fairways were 14 to 16 yards wide. Ben Hogan, who is the greatest ball striker of all time, had a 5 percent margin of error. So if you hit the ball 300 yards, which we all hit it more than that, you need to have a 30-yard wide fairway to be able to hit it.

“The fact is, they had brutal rough — almost unplayable — and it’s not the way I play. I don’t play like that. And here [at Silverado Country Club], I can miss the fairways, I can get shots out of the rough up on the green and it’s playable.

“And I’m 48. I’m not going to play tournaments with rough like that anymore. It’s a waste of my time. I’m going to play courses that are playable and that I can play aggressive, attacking, make a lot of birdies, style of golf I like to play.”

Mickelson, who finished 10th in the points standings and needed a captain’s pick for the first time, visited Le Golf National in the summer prior to the Scottish Open for a practice round.

He also noted he had “two terrible tournaments” at the BMW Championship and Tour Championship leading into the Ryder Cup and that even this week he doesn’t feel good about his game.

“I’ll have a nice 45-minute warm-up, and that’s it,” Mickelson said. “I’m trying to just save every ounce of energy and shotmaking and visualization for the course.”

Mickelson’s Ryder Cup record is now 18-22-7, giving him the most losses in U.S. history. He was the biggest proponent for change in the U.S. Ryder Cup structure and, along with Tiger Woods, serves on the U.S. Ryder Cup committee with the current captain, Jim Furyk, and three PGA of America officials.

Although not addressing Patrick Reed‘s assertion earlier in the week that a “buddy system” was in play, Mickelson denied there were issues.

“We had one of the best weeks as far as teammates, as far as working together, camaraderie,” Mickelson said. “We had an awesome week. I actually — I don’t know what to say because I didn’t see any of that stuff happen. I only saw one of the best weeks and team unities that we’ve had in a long time.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *