Should Love have benched Mickelson and Bradley?
- By Golf Channel Digital
- Sep 29, 2012 12:15 PM ET
MEDINAH, Ill. – Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley have gone 3-0 through three Ryder Cup sessions. U.S. captain Davis Love III, however, decided to sit both players in the Saturday afternoon fourballs, after the duo won by a record-tying 7-and-6 margin in the morning foursomes.
Love said he didn't anticipate playing anyone in all five matches, but was this the right move? GolfChannel.com writers weigh in. (Click for full Day 2 fourball match-ups)
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By JAY COFFIN
If Phil’s OK with sitting, I’m OK with Phil sitting. Even if it means that he and Keegan Bradley – the most dominant U.S. duo – are not on the course during crunch time.
“Historically and mathematically, the guys that have played five matches have not done as well in the singles and we want to make sure we’re rested and focused on the singles,” Mickelson said. “We don’t want to risk two points for one.”
Mickelson, 42, isn’t getting any younger. Granted, he played only 12 holes Saturday morning and, in foursomes, hit only half the shots, but all that emotion and fire takes its toll after a while. Phil could use some rest.
Look at the situation another way: With Phil and Keegan on the sidelines during fourballs, they’ll make great cheerleaders. Who can get crowds and teammates pumped up more than them?
By RYAN LAVNER
Ryder Cup pairings are not unlike running backs in football – you stay with the hot hand, always.
Sure, it may behoove Lefty to sit out a session. After all, he’s 42, the matches have been intense, and Medinah is no easy stroll, even for these young legs.
But never has Mickelson played this well, for this long, at a Ryder Cup. He may have exerted a bunch of energy fist-pumping and backside-slapping, but he played only 12 holes Saturday morning.
There is plenty of time to rest weary limbs. Bradley and Lefty would have had at least an hour between matches, and Sunday singles begin more than three hours later than the first two days.
The U.S. lead, 8-4, with two sessions to go. Mickelson said he didn’t want to risk two points Sunday for one on Saturday, assuming that Bradley, too, is tired and ill-fitted for battle. Except that the duo is playing so well, they give the Americans the best chance to secure a point on Saturday afternoon. You can’t pass that up, not here, where points are so precious.
Phil Mickelson . . . Ryder Cup . . . best chance.
A week ago, who would have believed that?
Contributions from writers and editors on the Golf Channel Digital team.
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