Lee Westwood hits out at Phil Mickelson over Ryder Cup attack on Tom Watson

Mickelson was openly critical of the US captain

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The Independent Online

Lee Westwood, a member of Europe’s victorious Ryder Cup team, has criticised the United States for airing “dirty laundry in public” after their defeat at Gleneagles last month.

In the aftermath of Europe’s 16 ½ to 11 ½ victory, American veteran Phil Mickelson criticised the captaincy of Tom Watson, sat a few feet away from him, at the post-tournament press conference.

“I think it’s a bit disappointing to see the dirty laundry being out in public,” said Westwood, back on American soil for the Frys.com Open in California this week.

“It’s difficult to pinpoint in a team environment whose fault it is specifically. It’s a combination of a lot of things. Maybe Tom got a few things wrong. Maybe the US team just didn’t quite play well enough.

“I’m just pleased that I don’t have to sort it all out because I don’t like to see people’s great reputations being brought down by something that shouldn’t happen in public.

“It should all be done behind closed doors and sorted out there, and the analysis should start there, not be done in the press, in the media.”

Westwood was part of the European team which lost at Valhalla in 2008 and, while there were a number of issues with Nick Faldo’s captaincy, nobody in the team broke ranks with their frustrations.

“I think there were a lot of people disappointed in ’08 but we tried to come together and not say anything in public,” added Westwood.

“Whenever you lose you’re going to be disappointed and you’re going to think things could have been done better. It’s just a case of managing it and handling it and improving it for the next time professionally.

“I guess we’ll see how easy it is to get the US team rattled by putting a bit of pressure on them. I don’t think anything good can come of all this [for the Americans].”