PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Phil Mickelson made himself a lightning rod in the awkward moments after the Americans lost the Ryder Cup in Scotland almost six months ago, when Mickelson publicly questioned Tom Watson’s leadership as captain and complained that nobody felt invested in team decisions.
With a new American Ryder Cup template in place that is designed to more heavily invest players, captains and future captains in team decisions, Mickelson was asked if this is what he envisioned making his comments in Scotland.
“I wasn't thinking that at the time, but I'm excited about where we are now, and I'm excited about where we are headed, the direction we are headed, not just into 2016, but really for the next 10 or 20 years,” Mickelson said.
Mickelson said the task force addressed his concerns about the American Ryder Cup effort.
“The two greatest frustrations I’ve had is, one, having zero input into the process, as well as having zero continuity from year to year, and both of those things, the Ryder Cup task force has solved,” Mickelson said. “We are going to have continuity year to year going forward with our vice captains becoming captains, and past captains sharing knowledge and keeping continuity from each cup. We’ve never had input like this. Now, everybody is being listened to, from Rickie Fowler to Ray Floyd and everyone in between.”
The value the PGA placed on Mickelson’s input was made clear with his being named to the American Ryder Cup task force, and also with his continuing inclusion on the PGA Ryder Cup committee, a six-member group that will continue the task force’s work, tweaking changes as needed in the future.
“It doesn't really matter what's in the past,” Mickelson said. “Now we are moving forward, and we're all working together with interesting and different insights and really working together as a unit and laying the foundation for hopefully a successful run of 10 Ryder Cups, as opposed to just looking at the very next one, or the one after that, in a very small picture. I think that it's exciting for all of us, because we are getting different input from different generations.”