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To say last week’s Ryder Cup didn’t go the way Phil Mickelson would have wanted is probably putting it a bit mildly.

He lost both matches he played, including the decisive singles contest with Francesco Molinari, and, in so doing, set a new record for most Ryder Cup defeats by any player in the history of the match.

Ouch.

He bounced back yesterday with an opening round of 65 in the Safeway Open at Silverado – and then promptly took a swipe at the way Le Golf National was set up last week.

• Tyrrell Hatton spills beans on ‘messy’ Ryder Cup party

• Patrick Reed’s mother-in-law wades into Ryder Cup row

“The Europeans did a great thing,” said Mickelson. “They did the opposite of what we do when we have the Ryder Cup here. 

“The fairways were 14 to 16 yards wide. Ben Hogan, who is the greatest ball-striker of all time, had a 5% margin of error so, if you hit the ball 300 yards, which we all hit it more than that, you need to have a 30-yard wide fairway to be able to hit it.”

Phil Mickelson 2

He went on: “The fact is they had brutal rough, almost unplayable, and it’s not the way I play. I don’t play like that. Here, I can miss the fairways, I can get shots out of the rough up on the green and it’s playable.”

• Tommy Fleetwood reacts to US Ryder Cup fall-out

• Odds on next European Ryder Cup captain REVEALED!

“I’m 48. I’m not going to play tournaments with rough like that any more, it’s a waste of my time. I’m going to play courses that are playable and that I can play aggressive, attacking, make a lot of birdies, style of golf I like to play.”

It’ll be interesting to see if he remains true to his word at next year’s US Open…


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

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