Phil Mickelson joins Rory McIlroy in accepting new reality: "I'm okay with that"

Six-time major champion Phil Mickelson has accepted it's far too soon to try and return to the Ryder Cup picture as the LIV Golf man is 'too divisive'. 

Ben Smith's picture
Thu, 11 Jan 2024
Phil Mickelson joins Rory McIlroy in accepting new reality: "I'm okay with that"

Phil Mickelson has conceded he won't be Ryder Cup captain any time soon as the LIV Golf man is 'too divisive'. 

Mickelson made the comments in a recent interview on the Pat McAfee show as he promoted the third season of the breakaway tour. 

The six-time major champion is in a buoyant mood of late considering Rory McIlroy's apparent U-turn and a desire by the established tours to strike an agreement that is in the best interest of the game. 

McIlroy has called for a 'world tour' and for LIV to become the 'IPL of golf' whereby four events are played in the spring and four in the winter. 

Mickelson did not directly comment on McIlroy's latest thoughts but did offer his opinion on who will lead Team USA next year at Bethpage Black. 

For years Lefty had been touted to lead the red, white and blue in front of a boisterous New York crowd. 

Perhaps with fellow LIV Golf pro and European talisman Ian Poulter as his counterpart. 

That will never happen though as Luke Donald has confirmed he will lead Europe in their defence of the Cup in hostile territory. 

Mickelson explained: "I don't feel I'm the right guy to be involved with the team because I'm a very divisive character right now, if you will, and I understand that.

"The players on the PGA Tour, there's a lot of hostilities towards me, and I don't feel I'd be the best leader for them."

Mickelson acknowledged he was going to 'take some hits' by being the primary instigator of getting the LIV Golf ball rolling. 

"I'm okay with that," he said. 

He added: "And as a divisive individual. I don't think I'm the best unifier going forward for the Ryder Cup and that's that's fine because I've had so many great memories with it."

So who will be Team USA's Ryder Cup captain?

The PGA of America are yet to announce the man who will succeed Zach Johnson

Stewart Cink is the favourite, followed by former Masters champion Fred Couples

Tiger Woods has seemingly ruled himself out of the job, too. 

The 48-year-old said in December 2023 his attentions were firmly on making sure the PGA Tour's future is safe. 

Woods joined the PGA Tour's policy board and is part of a team negotiating with LIV's financiers to try and form a new, for-profit golf entity. 

"There's too much at stake," Woods said when asked if he would put himself forward for the job. 

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