Ryder Cup: Mickelson slammed for Watson comments

Former European captains think Phil Mickelson's criticism of Tom Watson showed a lack of respect

Phil Mickelson has been criticised for the way he openly questioned Tom Watson’s captaincy methods immediately after they lost the Ryder Cup to Europe.

The five-time major winner claimed players were not consulted about pairings before heaping praise on the spirit created by Paul Azinger in the 2008 victory at Valhalla.

Europe clinched the 2014 trophy at Gleneagles with a 16.5 to 11.5 victory.

In the press conference straight after their defeat Mickelson made his comments with Watson sat just a few places away.
You support your captain under all circumstances. In public, you respect and honour your captain" “There were two things that allowed us to play our best that Paul Azinger did,” Mickelson said.

“First, he got everybody invested in the process. He got everybody invested in who they were going to play with, who the picks were going to be, who was going to be in their ‘pod’, when they would play, and they had a great leader for each pod. We hung out together.

“The other thing that Paul did really well was he had a great game-plan for us – how we were going to go about doing this, how we were going to go about playing together, if so-and-so is playing well, if so-and-so is not playing well.”

Watson responded by saying “He has a difference of opinion. That’s OK. My management philosophy is different than his.”

Mickelson, who recorded two points from his three matches, was said to be unhappy at being left out by Watson on Saturday.

The 44-year-old’s comments were criticised by former European captains Colin Montgomerie and Nick Faldo

“That should have been a private conversation,” Faldo said. “Phil certainly doesn’t respect Tom Watson.”

Montgomerie, winning captain in 2010,added: “Should we go into this one hour after we’ve been defeated? The answer is a flat no.

“You support your captain under all circumstances. In public, you respect and honour your captain.”

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