July 16, 2024
Phil Mickelson

Absolutely appalling! That’s what some people might be thinking. After all, Tiger Woods has denied Team USA captaincy for the 2025 Ryder Cup. Yes, that is certainly a reality now. You could think about it either way, given how the golfer has fared so far this season. While the 82-time PGA Tour winner struggled to make cuts in this season’s last two majors, there is one name that comes to mind when the spot of Captaincy is at stake. It is Phil Mickelson. But before we jump to establish that as a conclusion, let us explore why Mickelson deserves the spot over one of the most famous golfers of all time.

Tiger Woods had been part of eight Ryder Cups ever since 1997 until the year before he won his last major, the 2019 Master’s Tournament. In this long Ryder Cup career, Woods had won only once in 1999. He has always been a playing team member and has never been on the captaincy throne before, obviously! The golfer has a reputation for his career-long achievements, but his captaincy skills can be contested by Mickelson’s experience in the event.

Phil Mickelson won three times out of his 12 Ryder Cup participations. If you had not known this, Mickelson has the highest number of Ryder Cup participants among all the US golfers. He has set an 18-22-7 record in the event. But there’s more.

The 2025 Ryder Cup is going to be held at Bethpage Black and Winged Foot. Indeed, it is the same course where Woods famously won his 2002 US Open title, being the only golfer who scored under par. Iconic. Indeed, Mickelson has never been in that limelight to date. After this, one might question, then, how Mickelson is a better pick than Woods for the 2025 Cup at the infamous golf course. The answer lies in every close miss Mickelson had at Bethpage.

Not once, but three times did Mickelson have to settle for a runner-up position in the US Open held at Bethpage. In 2002, Mickelson scored even par and was three strokes behind Tiger Woods. Four years later, the 6-time major winner again climbed up the ladder to get tied for the runner-up position at Bethpage. This time, he was only one stroke behind Australian golfer Geoff Ogilvy. His last tied T2 came in 2009 at Bethpage when Lucas Glover won against Mickelson with a 2-stroke lead.
Phil Mickelson
Even though Mickelson is not a winner there, he is the only golfer to reach so high up multiple times. It can thus be easily concluded that his grasp is over the golf course where the next Ryder Cup is going to be held. But there remains yet another reason that you must look into.

Phil Mickelson vs. Tiger Woods: The Presidents Cup
Much like their Ryder Cup careers, Mickelson and Woods share a similar difference in their Presidents Cup histories. A thriving Woods has played in only nine events. And apart from one tie and one loss in 1998, his team has won all the other times he has been part of it. This includes his very last event, where he was assigned as a playing captain in 2019.

Phil Mickelson was never offered to lead the team. The 54-year-old golfer who won his last major at the age of 51 has the experience of being in the tournament 12 times. And again, apart from the same loss and tie in 1998 and 2003, respectively, Mickelson has 10 wins in his bag. The golfer, however, has not been able to show his proficiency as a skipper.

However, if one wishes to look at his LIV Golf captaincy record, he will not disappoint. Before Norman announced the affirmed home courses for each LIV team, Mickelson talked about the necessity for the team’s improvement. The HyFlyers GC captain could attest to how his plan of improvement was efficient and will only come with the individual improvement of newer and weaker players, showing the kind of leader he aspires to be.

His passion for team spirit was also revealed when he said, “For the team, I think long-term it would be helpful if everybody lives together, practices together, and travels together. Would be logistically a lot easier rather than be all throughout.” He also believes that winning is a team effort, “To succeed, like, when they say it takes a team, it really takes a lot of people to help you.”

Which other golfer do you think will suit the position if it is not Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson to lead Team USA to much-needed victory at Bethpage in 2025 Let us know in the comments below.

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