“He talks smack … he talks the way you’re supposed to be talking in the locker room,” said USA captain Tom Watson about American Ryder Cup team member and 42-time PGA tour winner Phil Mickelson. “He talks the locker-room talk and he gets people talking back to him. That’s what you have to do.”
Golf.com reports that Mickelson replied to a question, put to him on Wednesday at a Ryder Cup press event, inquiring whether U.S. players can gel as a team as the Europeans are known to do, by retorting, “Well, not only are we able to play together, we also don’t litigate against each other and that’s a real plus, I feel, heading into this week.”
Mickelson’s stinging barb demonstrates he is coming out fighting and ready to take on the Europeans at the 2014 Ryder Cup in Gleneagles, Scotland, where the matches begin on Friday. It appears that Mickelson, embarking on his tenth Ryder Cup tournament, was doing his best to exacerbate a sore subject between European Ryder Cup teammates Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell.
Irish golfer McIlroy, according to the Telegraph, battles in court with his former management company Horizon Sports for giving him “markedly inferior” conditions compared to fellow countryman McDowell, including being charged higher commissions on some of his off-course earnings. Horizon not only represents McDowell, but the former 2010 U.S. Open winner is a shareholder of the company.
On top of that, Horizon’s legal team countersues McIlroy, accusing him of “orchestrating” the timing of the litigation to clash with McDowell’s wedding last September. McIlroy did not attend the wedding explaining that he had other publicity-related commitments.
While court battles have begun, golf battles start on Friday. It will be interesting to see if the pairing of McDowell and McIlroy in the 2010 and 2012 Ryder Cups will be re-installed at Gleneagles. Of the six times that they have been paired, they have won twice.