Sign up for our daily newsletter

Latest news, reviews, analysis and opinion, plus unmissable deals for bunkered subscriptions, events, and our commercial partners.

If last week was a bad one for Phil Mickelson, this week hasn’t started a whole lot better.

Fresh from the six-time major champion finding himself at the centre of extraordinary allegations about his gambling issues, as detailed in Billy Walters’ upcoming memoir, former Ryder Cup captain Lanny Wadkins has taken a huge swipe at the 53-year-old.

Appearing on the Golf Channel today, Wadkins – who led the US into the 1995 clash with Europe – described allegations that Mickelson attempted to place a $400,000 bet on the 2012 match as “very disconcerting.”

Mickelson denied ever placing the bet but Wadkins, who captained Mickelson when he made his Ryder Cup debut in 1995, remains less than impressed.

• Phil Mickelson: LIV golfers warrant Ryder Cup picks

• Lucas Glover would pick himself for Ryder Cup

“I don’t know that there’s ever been a more disappointing figure in golf than Phil Mickelson,” he told the Golf Today show. “I’ve seen what’s transpired with him over the last ten-plus years.

“I mean, he was a beloved figure for a long time. We all marvelled at the way he could play. But just nothing looks kosher about what he’s doing these days. He’s blown a chance to probably be Ryder Cup captain ever.

“I think he would probably have been a two-time captain. Now, he’s not going to be involved. It’s really kind of a shame. He’s just self-imploded and looks like he just continues to at every turn.

“It’s disappointing and sad. It’s sad that we have people in our game that think they’re bigger than the game and obviously Phil thinks he’s bigger.”

Wadkins’ fellow former Ryder Cup captain Hal Sutton used an appearance on the same show last week to lament the “greed” prevalent in the modern game, even going to far as to say: “I’m not sure I know golf anymore.”

Wadkins watched that appearance and says he agrees with his compatriot.

• DP World Tour announces new-look 2024 schedule

• “Idiots!” – Charley Hull hits out at protestors

“I totally agree with Hal,” he added. “I even texted him after I saw his interview. I texted him and said ‘great job, man, you hit it right on the nose.’

“I don’t understand why the tour has, for example, had to jump purses to the amount they did this year and put themselves in a position that was uncomfortable.

“Wouldn’t it have been good enough playing for twelve or fifteen million? I mean, come on. It’s a little disappointing, it really is.

“I don’t know where that mindset is coming from but it’s a little unsettling to a lot of us that have been around the game for a long time.”

author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

More Reads

Image Turnberry green

The bunkered Golf Course Guide - Scotland

Now, with bunkered, you can discover the golf courses Scotland has to offer. Trust us, you will not be disappointed.

Find Courses