Phil Mickelson Makes an Honest Admission About Leadership Experience at the Ryder Cup

Published 11/12/2021, 12:04 PM EST
September 21, 2021; Kohler, Wisconsin, USA; U.S. Team vice-captain Phil Mickelson waves to the fans along the eighth hole during a practice round for the 43rd Ryder Cup golf competition at Whistling Straits. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


This year’s Ryder Cup concluded around two months ago where the United States defeated Europeans in a one-sided tournament. Meanwhile, Phil Mickelson, who is currently competing at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, was the vice-captain of the United States. Moreover, this was the first time he served as a non-playing member. 

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Phil Mickelson carded 65 at Phoenix Country Club, which is also his first-ever Charles Schwab Cup Challenge. And after round one, he talked about the Ryder Cup and explained the phenomenal experience he had in the biennial event. 

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Phil Mickelson details his Ryder Cup experience as a vice-captain

For the first time in twelve years, Phil Mickelson wasn’t part of the Ryder Cup team as a playing member. Instead, team U.S. skipper Steve Stricker appointed Mickelson as a vice-captain. And he seems to have enjoyed this new responsibility for that week. 

Golf – The 2020 Ryder Cup – Whistling Straits, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, U.S. – September 22, 2021 Team USA captain Steve Stricker speaks with Team USA vice captain Phil Mickelson on the 12th tee during a practice round REUTERS/Brian Snyder

“I really enjoyed being the vice-captain of the Ryder Cup team because I was able to experience the Ryder Cup on an inside-the-rope level without having to deal with the pressure of competing, playing, getting things working with a partner, what holes are you going to hit on, working with a new golf ball — all the variables that come into play that add stress.” 

He also said he was able to sit with guys that he enjoys hanging out with guys like Steve Stricker, Zach Johnson, Jim Furyk, and Fred Couples. Meanwhile, throughout the three days of the Ryder Cup, there was fun with the mic and headset. Moreover, Phil said a few things were not for public consumption. 

Watch This Story: Fred Couples Reveals the Tragic Reason for Not Wearing Gloves

“It was a closed mic, so it was only like the vice-captains. If I knew that it was going to be public—which it isn’t yet—I wouldn’t have said some of the things I did, so I don’t feel comfortable sharing that right now. But I was exuberant,” added the 51-year-old.

Mickelson answers when will he get his shot to be captain

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Phil Mickelson made it to the Team USA for twelve straight years as a player. But sadly, for the first time in his career, he failed to make it to the Ryder Cup team as a player. But Steve Stricker made sure he uses Phil’s experience by appointing him as the vice-captain. He was also asked when will he get his shot to be captain?

Golf – The 2020 Ryder Cup – Whistling Straits, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, U.S. – September 26, 2021 Team USA vice captain Phil Mickelson after winning The Ryder Cup REUTERS/Brian Snyder

“I don’t know, but it was certainly fun to be a part of this one and to see the players. I mean, what a great group of quality young players the United States has right now. They played some great golf and won by the largest margin ever,” Mickelson said.

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For now, Lefty is co-leading the Charles Schwab event with a score of -6. He shares the top spot with Kirk Triplett and Jim Furyk.  

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Amey Kulkarni

503 articles

Amey Kulkarni is a Golf writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in mass media from HR College, Mumbai. Before joining EssentiallySports he used to write articles on Golf and Cricket on his personal blog cricgolf.

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