Phil Mickelson was a shoo-in for Bethpage in 2025. Now, it’s looking a lot less likely. All you’ve got to do is read between the lines
With a record 12 Ryder Cup appearances under his belt, Phil Mickelson has long been considered a shoo-in to take up the esteemed position of Team USA captain, the honour being a matter of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’.
And, for a while now, the golfing world has continued to assume that Mickelson would take over the reins from Zach Johnson in 2025.
But in light of recent developments surrounding Mickelson, his involvement in the Saudi Golf League, and current hiatus from the game, it looks like the selection panel may be looking elsewhere.
When asked why Fred Couples has never been a Ryder Cup captain during a press conference ahead of the RBC Heritage, Davis Love III dropped an answer which cast doubt over Mickelson’s chances.
“[Fred Couples] could still be Ryder Cup captain,” Love explained. “We may have to fill a gap somewhere now. Our order’s kind of messed up right now. So maybe Fred would be great [for a] home game in New York.”
He’s talking about Bethpage in 2025, if that isn’t immediately clear.
Love may simply be wanting to keep his cards close to his chest on this one, but it certainly doesn’t take much to speculate what the two-time Ryder Cup captain and current Presidents Cup captain is referencing here.
The recent drama surrounding Mickelson’s affiliation with the controversial Saudi-backed LIV Invitational has now been well-documented, and well-critiqued. Most recently, Mickelson provoked anger among the golfing world when the six-time major champion accused the PGA Tour of acting like a “dictatorship” whereby they “divide and conquer” players.
We have already hinted that Mickelson may have tarnished his reputation beyond repair. Indeed, it seems that the knock-on effects from Mickelson’s bad-mouthing and public acceptance of the Saudis’ involvement in the game could have just extended further than his recent absence from the PGA Tour.
If Love’s hints are anything to go by, Mickelson might have also just blown his chance at being a future Ryder Cup captain.
Was it worth it, Phil?