Phil Mickelson says he is not the right man to captain the 2025 US Ryder Cup team
Ryder Cup

Phil Mickelson says he is not the right man to captain the 2025 US Ryder Cup team

A photo of golfer Phil Mickelson LA QUINTA, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 17: Phil Mickelson tees off on the 17th hole during the second round of The American Express tournament at the Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course at PGA West on January 17, 2020 in La Quinta, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Phil Mickelson knows he is not the right man to lead the US Ryder Cup team at Bethpage Black in 2025.

In an appearance on the "Pat McAfee Show" on ESPN, Mickelson said, "I don't feel I'm the right guy to be involved with the team because I'm a very divisive character right now," adding, "I understand the players on the PGA Tour, there's a lot of hostilities toward me."

Mickelson was likely not in the running to represent the PGA of America at the next Ryder Cup on home soil. He is seen by many players on the PGA Tour as the player who created the division that now exists in professional golf, with the emergence of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf coming in significant part because of what is said to be his active recruiting of players to the circuit.

Mickelson was suspended by the PGA Tour and did not play in the 2022 Masters Tournament or the 2022 PGA Championship as the reigning Wanamaker winner. With the initial LIV Golf Invitational Series event that was played in England in June 2022, Mickelson joined the breakaway league. He is the captain of the league's Hy Flyers team.

Currently the PGA Tour is engaged in tight negotiations with the Saudi Public Investment Fund, which owns LIV Golf, about a merger-investment that would result in a new for-profit subsidiary of the PGA Tour called PGA Tour Enterprises. The PGA Tour is also courting an investment from Strategic Sports Group, a collective of North American sports franchise owners.

Mickelson has famously said he viewed the Saudi involvement in golf and LIV Golf as a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates." Ultimately, that's proven true, but it's come at a significant cost to Mickelson's reputation among peers and fans alike.

However, since Jon Rahm signed with LIV Golf in December 2023, Mickelson seems to be striking a more conciliatory tone toward the PGA Tour and players who have been critical of him and his new home. Mickelson has called Rahm's signing a "bridge" between the two tours, and he expressed appreciation for comments Rory McIlroy made about LIV Golf on a Sky Sports podcast that suggested some understanding of the economic motivations behind players joining the league.

The PGA of America has not yet announced who will captain the American team at Bethpage Black in 2025, though Mickelson was once thought a lock for the pick -- before his move to LIV Golf. Now, it's unclear who will lead the US side.

For its part, Ryder Cup Europe has already announced Luke Donald will return as captain in 2025, seeking to pull the rare feat of winning on home and foreign soil in the biennial competition.

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Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for nearly 20 years. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He is a scratch golfer...sometimes.

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