Phil Mickelson calls 2018 Ryder Cup course 'almost unplayable' and 'a waste of my time'
Le Golf National? Not Lefty's style
Phil Mickelson has had a pretty wild couple of weeks. After finishing 30th (or last) at the Tour Championship, he went 0-2-0 at the Ryder Cup in Paris and generally looked terrible.
"I was not playing my best, and I spent more time hitting balls throughout the week than I have all year trying to find something that would click," said Mickelson on Sunday. "It's just been a struggle. The last month has been a struggle, ever since I shot 63 right before being picked, I've struggled."
So of course he went out and shot 65 in Round 1 of the Safeway Open on Thursday after a transatlantic flight back to the United States from Paris. Interestingly, he also addressed the Ryder Cup further after that Round 1 in Napa. There was much chatter in the aftermath about the advantage Europe gained from playing a narrow course rife with rough. They set it up for their elite ball-strikers, and the bombers on the U.S. side were left wanting.
"The Europeans did a great thing, they did the opposite of what we do when we have the Ryder Cup here," said Mickelson this week. "The fairways were 14 to 16 yards wide. Ben Hogan, who is the greatest ball-striker of all time, had a five percent 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."
As an aside, Mickelson doing math out in public with no safety net is always an enjoyable experience.
"The fact is they had brutal rough, almost unplayable, and it's not the way I play. I don't play like that," added Mickelson. "And here (at the Safeway Open) I can miss the fairways, I can get shots out of the rough up on the green and it's playable. And I'm 48. I'm not going to play tournaments with rough like that anymore, 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."
So ... there's that.
On the whole, I'm not sure it's as bad as some people are making it out to be. It's no secret that Mickelson doesn't like courses like we saw at Le Golf National. His game was in tatters by the time he got there, but when he got picked, he'd just come off a 63 at the Dell Technologies Championship. Was Jim Furyk supposed to not pick him? Was Mickelson supposed to say: Well you know I'm on fire right now but I don't like courses like Le Golf National the way I think it might possibly be set up so go with Xander?
That would have been kind of an all-time move, but it's not one I would ever expect Mickelson or Furyk to make. We're talking about one of the top 12 players ever vying to win his first Ryder Cup in Europe in his last try. There's just no chance he was going to go quietly.
So while these comments don't look all that great up front, I'm not sure that we learned much other than the fact that the Euros are some wily, devilish folks who will do anything in their power to stymie what the Americans do best (which, at this point, I'm not sure what that is).
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