LA QUINTA, Calif. – In his first public comments since causing a stir in the Ryder Cup press room, Phil Mickelson preferred to focus on the future – the task force – and not what transpired at Gleneagles.
Mickelson criticized the U.S Ryder Cup team’s process in general and captain Tom Watson in particular when he addressed the media following the Americans’ sixth loss in seven matches. He said that players weren’t involved in any decisions in Scotland and that the U.S. team had “strayed” from a winning formula in 2008.
Those remarks were made on Sept. 28, and Mickelson hadn’t made any public comments since the tense news conference. On Thursday at the Humana Challenge, Mickelson said that he and the rest of the 11-man task force have an opportunity to be “very impactful” in future Ryder Cups.
“I’m more about trying to move forward from it and to really make the next 10, 20 years – 10 Ryder Cups – make those the best we can,” he said. “We have some really smart guys with a lot of great input … that I think will get us on the right track with a good gameplan, with good continuity from year to year and I think that I’m excited.
“Who knows if it will bring the results we want or not, but there’s a lot of good, smart people in there and we’re moving forward trying to make this work.”
Mickelson said that much of his excitement stems from the fact that this is the first time the players are seriously involved in the decision-making process. He said the task force is scheduled to meet for a second time soon, but did not say when.
“I think it’s going to be very impactful in the overall experience,” he said.
When asked if he thought the significant changes would have been made had he chosen to speak privately instead of publicly, Mickelson said, “How we got there doesn’t matter. We’re there now and we’re going to make it a really great experience for the next generation of players.”
Despite suggestions that he should serve as the 2016 captain, Mickelson said that he was not interested and wants to focus on playing his way onto the team.