Over the years, Phil Mickelson’s bold and outspoken character has gotten him in trouble several times. Regardless, Lefty doesn’t intend to change his attitude. However, back in 2014, Mickelson was under massive scrutiny for his comments on his Ryder Cup team captain and received backlash from several fans as well as fellow golfers, including Sir Nick Faldo.
In the 2014 Ryder Cup, Team Europe defeated Team USA for the eighth time in 10 years. However, the American team’s defeat was later overshadowed by Phil Mickelson’s comments on Team USA captain Tom Watson. Following the comments, the six-time Major winner was slammed by Faldo. But what were Phil’s comments that got him in trouble?
Phil Mickelson calls out Tom Watson
On the final day of the 2014 Ryder Cup, Watson decided to leave Mickelson and Keegan Bradley out of both Saturday playing sessions. Lefty, who was unhappy with the decision, praised the captaincy tactics of the 2008 Ryder Cup American captain Paul Azinger.
“We had a great formula in ’08. I don’t know why we strayed,” Mickelson said. “The other thing that Paul did really well was he had a great game plan for us, you know, how we were going to go about doing this”. Phil then acknowledged that all decisions taken at the Ryder Cup were made by Watson and his assistants.
Phil Mickelson said, “Nobody here was in any decision.” The 52-year-old made all the comments at the press conference in the presence of Watson. Following the press conference, Mickelson received massive backlash for throwing his captain under the bus. Among the many critics was the six-time Major winner Sir Nick Faldo.
Sir Nick Faldo criticizes Mickelson
Undoubtedly, Faldo is considered one of the best Ryder Cup golfers of all time. He holds the record for the most points won of any player (25), representing Europe a record 11 times and, in turn, playing the most matches of any player in Ryder Cup history (46).
However, while leading Team Europe in 2008, the 65-year-old failed to capture a win. Following, Mickelson’s comments on Watson, Sir Nick Faldo shared his dismay with Lefty. Faldo said, “That should have been a private conversation. Phil certainly doesn’t respect Tom Watson. He threw his captain right under the bus.”
Nick Faldo has always voiced his opinions on serious matters. But the Hall of Famer wasn’t the only one who criticized Phil. Colin Montgomerie, Europe’s winning captain in 2010, also disapproved of Mickelson’s comments.
Nonetheless, according to Faldo and several other golfers, Lefty was at fault. However, who according to you is right? Let us know in the comments section below!