Phil says he's too divisive to be a Ryder Cup captain

Phil says he's too divisive to be a Ryder Cup captain

Popular opinion over the past year and a half has been that Phil Mickelson, with his move two summers ago to LIV Golf, had likely cost himself a chance at being a future Ryder Cup captain – and all but certainly would no longer be considered for the 2025 matches at Bethpage Black.

Former U.S. captain Lanny Wadkins perhaps had the most charged comments, saying that there was “no question” that Mickelson would’ve captained in 2025 but now that honor would likely go to Tiger Woods.

“He probably would’ve been a two-time captain. Now, he’s not going to be involved,” Wadkins told Golfweek last fall. “It’s really kind of a shame. He’s really self-imploded, and he just continues to do it at every turn. It’s disappointing and sad. It’s sad that we have people in our game that think they’re bigger than the game, and obviously Phil thinks he’s bigger.”

Mickelson, however, has been reticent about the matter – well, until Tuesday during his appearance on ESPN’s "Pat McAfee Show."

Asked if he’d consider captaining or even being a playing captain for Bethpage – if that were indeed on the table – Mickelson revealed that even in his mind, that ship had sailed.

“I’ve had 12, 13 opportunities to be a part of the Ryder Cup – 12 as a player, one as a vice captain – and I’ve loved every minute of it and cherished those moments and those life experiences,” Mickelson said. “I don’t feel I’m the right guy to be involved with the team because I’m a very divisive character right now, if you will. And I understand that the players on the PGA Tour, there’s a lot of hostilities toward me, and I don’t feel like I’d be the best leader for them going forward. I think that as the Ryder Cup captain, you have to be kind of a unifier and have these relationships solidified and be somebody that you want to follow, and right now, I’ve been very divisive – and I’m OK with that, I knew that was going to be the case, I knew that it was going to take a couple of years and that I was going to take a lot of hits and a lot of divisiveness. …

“As a divisive individual, I don’t think I’m the best unifier going forward for the Ryder Cup. And that’s fine because I’ve had so many great memories with it; it’s time for other people to create their own memories.”

Click here to listen to the full Mickelson segment, where he also talks about how he believes the "disruption" caused by LIV Golf is over for the most part, how LIV teams are envisioning their own facilities and academies, and how he's fielded several calls recently from other players whose opinions have changed about LIV.