Ryder Cup 2014: Phil Mickelson is reduced to the role of a mere spectator

Mickelson accepted 'whatever it takes to win' despite being benched for the Saturday afternoon session for the second straight Ryder Cup

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The Independent Online

While Masters champion Bubba Watson confessed that not even at the Ryder Cup did he want to be “mean to anybody”, Phil Mickelson was sitting out a whole day of the competition for the first time in his 10 appearances.

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Mickelson and his partner, Keegan Bradley, knew they were being rested from the morning fourballs but did not get the call for the afternoon foursomes from US captain Tom Watson, despite the visitors still trailing after three sessions.

Only last year Mickelson did a unique double of winning the Scottish Open and The Open Championship in Scotland. Yet his only role at Gleneagles yesterday was supporting his teammates.

“Whatever it takes to win,” Mickelson said. “I want our team to win. Whatever we have to do is all I care about.”

Having claimed their fourth win in four outings over two Ryder Cups on Friday morning, Mickelson and Bradley lost their afternoon foursomes in 3 & 2 to Victor Dubuisson and Graeme McDowell. “They didn’t perform all that well yesterday afternoon,” Tom Watson said. “They wanted to go today. These were the pairings I thought were best for foursomes golf.”

 

The US skipper picked the pairing of Jimmy Walker and Rickie Fowler in all four sessions, despite coming away with half-points in their first three outings. “I’m riding my horses,” he said.

World No 1 Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose were the only Europeans to play all four sessions on the first two days, Rose winning three straight matches.

Bubba Watson was also rested from the foursomes and remained pointless despite a vast improvement in form in yesterday’s fourballs. He and Matt Kuchar, nine under par, lost to the stunning 12 under of Rose and Henrik Stenson.

“It was amazing,” Watson said. “We would probably have beaten all the other teams but we had to play against them. They had 10 birdies in a row. We stretched the match as much as we could but we could not do much different.”

Watson has lost seven of his 10 Ryder Cup matches but said he was more interested in growing the game than his record. “I’m never going to be mean to anybody,” he said.

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