Phil Mickelson or Tiger Woods: Who Should Captain the U.S. Team for Ryder Cup 2023?

Published 09/28/2021, 7:00 AM EDT
AKRON, OH – AUGUST 01: Phil Mickelson (L) and Tiger Woods smile during a practice round prior to the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club South Course on August 1, 2018 in Akron, Ohio. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)


Team USA has successfully crushed the European domination and has won the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits. They won the prestigious biennial event with a score of 19-9. Moreover, the home team skipper Steve Stricker got his choices spot on while Harrington, the European captain, made a few blunders.

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Hence, it was clear that having a good leader who manages players is crucial. The Americans completely dominated the 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits. Along with the players, even the captains and the vice-captains have had a tremendous impact.

Hence, the question that many people are asking is going into the 2023 Ryder Cup, who can be the best leader for the team? Is it Phil Mickelson or Tiger Woods or someone else? 

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Americans have never had a single captain for consecutive Ryder Cups. Hence, if Stricker steps down as a captain, it should be either Phil or Tiger who replaces that spot.

However, if he doesn’t step down, Stricker will be the first preference for the 2023 Ryder Cup. But what if he steps down? Who is the best alternate choice? Let us find out. 

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Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, or someone else? Who should captain the 2023 Ryder Cup Team?

Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods both have served Team USA as vice-captains. Tiger did it in 2016 and 2018. However, he was the playing vice-captain of the side on both occasions. Meanwhile, Mickelson did it for the first time this year at Whistling Straits as he failed to make it to the Team USA as a player. 

But when you think about the 2023 Ryder Cup skipper, Tiger Woods seems to be a great option as the captain. However, this is a good thing only if he doesn’t make it to the team as a player. Meanwhile, Woods already has captained his country in the 2019 Presidents Cup and won the trophy. Hence, he has the experience of leading the side, and he also shares a great rapport with all the players.  

THOUSAND OAKS, CA – OCTOBER 25: Tiger Woods watches his tee shot on the 10th hole while Phil Mickelson gets ready to hit during the final round of the ZOZO Championship at Sherwood Country Club on October 25, 2020 in Thousand Oaks, California. (Photo by John McCoy/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

This year, even though Tiger is currently recovering from his solo car crash, he was an integral part of Stricker’s leadership group. He motivated players with his messages and advised a few things to all the players as well. Hence, this shows leadership qualities and the respect all these players have for him. 

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So Tiger is the best pick as the team’s captain for the 2023 Ryder Cup. But if he makes it to the squad as a player, Phil Mickelson is the best person to captain the side. As it will not be a wise decision to have Tiger as a captain and as a player because it will put him under a lot of pressure and hamper his performance both on and off the field. 

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Hence, if Tiger gets on the team as a player, Phil is the best option to lead the team, with Tiger as his playing deputy. 

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Who do you think should be the captain if Stricker steps down? Let us know.

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Amey Kulkarni

392 articles

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

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