GLENEAGLES, Scotland – Phil Mickelson’s jab about litigious Europeans caught the attention of the Euros.
His comments came up on the Europeans’ bus ride to the Ryder Cup gala after Wednesday’s practice rounds and later in the team room.
“I did see them,” Ian Poulter said. “But you need to see how Rory and G-Mac are in the team room. They are very comfortable. There's no animosity in there whatsoever. The guys are good, so I just have to laugh at the comment.”
Mickelson was asked in his news conference Wednesday if the Americans have struggled to win because they aren’t as close as the Europeans. “Not only are we able to play together, we also don’t litigate against each other, and that’s a real plus,” Mickelson cracked. He was making light of litigation that has pitted Rory McIlroy against Graeme McDowell in legal wrangling over contracts McIlroy had with an agent he used to share with McDowell.
Europe’s Justin Rose said he didn’t have a problem with Mickelson trying to be funny.
“There's no real angst between the players from that point of view at all,” Rose said. “In our team room, it's a non-issue. I've obviously been observing Rory and G-Mac, too, and they have been getting on great and playing golf and hanging out and having dinners together. The atmosphere is fantastic in our team room.”
Rose said Mickelson approached McIlroy at the gala dinner.
“It's no real big deal,” Rose said. “I'll call it banter and nothing more serious than that ... Among friends, Phil loves the banter and he loves to throw a few bobs out there, which is great.”
Europe’s Martin Kaymer found the comments amusing.
“It's one of those things you read it, you laugh about it and that's it,” Kaymer said. “I think in the end of the day, we should just play golf. It's fairly simple.”