Phil Mickelson spoke out last Sunday after the Americans lost the Ryder Cup for the eighth time in 10 tries. He longed for the precision and passion of victorious 2008 captain Paul Azinger, distancing himself from the stubborn outgoing captain Tom Watson.
Mickelson was lambasted in some circles for making a private beef public, but PGA of America president Ted Bishop not only see why Lefty did it but said this Sunday that it will spark change.
“He did what he did with a purpose whether you agree with it or not,” said Bishop to BBC Radio’s 5 Live.
“He’s passionate about the Ryder Cup and he feels that there needs to be some changes going forward and I think Phil would undoubtedly say that, if what he said on Sunday night helps propagate some of those changes, then he probably would be okay with it.”
Bishop said there will likely be a task force created to probe possible changes, consisting of previous captains, current players and other PGA of America officers. Both the way in which players and captains are selected is up for review.
In particular, Bishop noted the Americans could stand to benefit from the kind of institutional knowledge and succession planning Europe seems to use to their benefit.
“Since 1999, Davis Love III is the only Ryder Cup captain that previously served as an assistant captain, and I think that’s an eye-opening statement, really, when you stop and think about it,” Bishop said.
“I don’t see how anybody can have their best chance to succeed as a Ryder Cup captain when they haven’t first been a vice-captain once or twice.”