Golf Channel analyst says Mickelson lied about Watson's captaincy

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Phil Mickelson thought for several seconds, visibly conflicted about saying what was about to come out of his mouth. He decided it was worth it.

"No, nobody here was in any decision," Mickelson said, trying to describe what he seemed to believe was the autocratic style Tom Watson used to guide the losing American Ryder Cup team. 

Sitting in the same news conference as Mickelson, Watson denied the charge, saying player and vice-captain input determined the pairings on Friday and Saturday. As the PGA of America prepares to announce a task force to move forward from defeat, Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee remains an adamant defender of Watson's captaincy and, by extension, reputation.

Appearing on CBS Sports Radio's "The John Feinstein Show" on Wednesday, Chamblee took up for the eight-time major winner.

"In that press conference, Phil said they didn’t have any say in this Ryder Cup," Chamblee said. "And I know for a fact that all the players were brought together with their caddies and Tom walked amongst them and said, ‘Tell me who you want to play with. Write it down on a sheet of paper, and all of you tell me who you want to play with. Let me know.’  And everybody but one person contributed there."

It almost sounds like semantics. Mickelson's definition of involvement is probably deeper than speaking up on which players wanted to team together, which is kind of standard in a Ryder Cup. However, it was the brain of Steve Stricker that came up with the surprisingly effective pairing of Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth. 

Chamblee later told Feinstein the common thread in the last 10 Ryder Cups has been Mickelson, suggesting the left-hander take more pride in wins and losses in the biennial series.

A year ago, Chamblee went after Tiger Woods in a column, saying Woods had been "cavalier with the rules" in taking an incorrect drop at the 2013 Masters. The resulting fallout led to an on-air apology from Chamblee. The experience does not appear to have neutered the analyst. Prodding Mickelson, however, is different than agitating Woods. Woods is a man of few words. Mickelson is not afraid of a verbal spat.

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Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.