Ian Poulter wanted to fight Phil Mickelson before 2025 Ryder Cup - McDowell

LIV Golf's Graeme McDowell has revealed Ian Poulter was desperate to be the Ryder Cup captain in 2025 with Phil Mickelson the skipper of the U.S. side.

Ben Smith's picture
Thu, 16 Feb 2023
Ian Poulter wanted to fight Phil Mickelson before 2025 Ryder Cup - McDowell

LIV Golf League player Graeme McDowell revealed Ian Poulter joked he wanted to get into a fight with Phil Mickelson in New York as a preamble to the 2025 Ryder Cup at Bethpage Black. 

McDowell recently went on the 5 Clubs podcast where he spoke to host Gary Williams about the topics you would rightly expect to be broached. 

Chief of which was his Ryder Cup future - if there is one - and his decision to join the LIV Golf League

McDowell said the idea of captaining the side in 2027 at Adare Manor brings a tear to his eye and he would be "incredibly disappointed" if he never gets the chance to lead Ryder Cup Europe by the time he's old and grey. 

Bethpage Black will host the Ryder Cup for the very first time in two years. It was widely expected that Mickelson would be in charge of the U.S. at some point. 

Who knows what will happen now. But Mickelson going up against Poulter would surely make for some great entertainment. 

Related: Don't you have enough money, Ian Poulter?

Mickelson - who has dropped an enormous amount of weight before returning to LIV with his Hy Flyers - has said he's "at peace" with the idea of never being involved in the Ryder Cup again. 

McDowell told the pod

"Would I love to be the Ryder Cup captain in Ireland in '27? I picture myself standing there on the stage giving the opening speech looking at my team behind me. I mean, beautiful. You know, I've got a tear in my eye just thinking about it. But that wasn't a guarantee, it wasn't a given," 
"I was potentially gonna be against Westwood and Justin Rose for that Ryder Cup. Say LIV hadn't come along, [Westwood] would have turned Rome down so now he was looking at '27 because Poulter was gonna take '25 at Bethpage Black.
"He said that eight years ago and wanted to get into a fight with Mickelson on the stage in New York City.
"I mean I haven't really thought about it, that may be one of the most fundamental things that may come out of this thing that we don't get to see Phil versus Poulter in Bethpage Black. You know, that probably won't happen now."

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"Kept me awake at night"

McDowell said he believed it wasn't a guarantee he would be a captain anyway. At least not if he was up against Westwood

He said: 

"Westwood is one of the most decorated European Tour players of all time. So I'm going against him and I'm thinking, 'I'm not sure I'm necessarily winning this job' you know so this is the type of reasoning that I had to go through in my head.
"These two or three things we're talking about were the things that kept me awake at night as to whether I thought I was making the right decision or not. Are my chances greatly reduced now of ever being a part of a Ryder Cup team in any level? Yeah, of course they're greatly reduced."

What about joining LIV, G-Mac?

McDowell said his LIV choice was "a complex equation". 

He said:

"It was a difficult one, and if I'm old and grey and 75-years-old and I look back and I never had the shot, I never captained a European team I will be incredibly disappointed. 
"I balanced all these things up, I weighed all these things up. It was a complex equation and at the end of the day, I had to look through the short term lens. I had TV deals kind of knocking on my door, I wasn't ready for that. I wasn't ready to hang the clubs up and I had to have that conversation.
"Contrary to what anyone thinks, I'm not showing up at 14 LIV events this year, taking my pay check and going home. I still believe that I'm good enough, I still believe that I can win golf tournaments. I still believe that I can compete at any level. And that's the competitor inside of me."

Next page: McDowell on his LIV haters