Monday, July 22, 2024

Ryder Cup 2025: Phil Mickelson backs Team USA captain Keegan Bradley as ‘great pick’ for Bethpage Black

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Phil Mickelson has backed the “surprise” decision to appoint former Ryder Cup partner Keegan Bradley as Team USA captain for the 2025 contest at Bethpage Black.

Bradley was announced as Zach Johnson’s successor for next year’s contest after Tiger Woods turned down the role, with the 38-year-old having the task of regaining the trophy following Europe’s 16.5-11.5 victory in Rome last September.

The former major champion won three matches with Mickelson in the 2012 ‘Miracle at Medinah’ defeat and also featured in the 2014 loss at Gleneagles, before controversially being overlooked for a wild card last year despite two PGA Tour wins that season.

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Keegan Bradley has been selected as the 2025 Ryder Cup US team captain. Watch his best shots from when he was chosen to represent Team USA in 2012 and 2014!

Stewart Cink and Fred Couples – vice-captains under Johnson in 2023 – had been viewed as more likely candidates before Bradley was offered the role, a decision he admitted came “out of the blue”, with Mickelson pleased to see his former team-mate given the captaincy.

“I was surprised at the pick, and I think it’s a great pick the more I think about it,” Mickelson told the media ahead of the LIV Golf Andalucia event. “He played a lot of golf at Bethpage when he went to St. John’s [University].

FILE - USA's Phil Mickelson, left, and Keegan Bradley celebrate after winning their foursomes match on the 15th hole at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Friday, Sept. 28, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. Mickelson has wagered more than $1 billion over the last three decades and wanted to place a $400,000 bet on the 2012 Ryder Cup while playing for Team USA, according to a much-anticipated book by renowned gambler Billy Walters. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)
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Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley formed a formidable partnership during the first two days of the 2012 Ryder Cup

“His passion for the Ryder Cup is greater than just about any player I’ve ever seen. His love for the Ryder Cup is more than anybody I know. I think he’s going to lead with that type of passion.

“I think he’s incredible. I’m really, really happy for him. I think we all are really happy for him, knowing how gut-wrenching it was to not be part of the team last year. To now have the opportunity to lead and go forward I think is great.”

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Paul McGinley discusses what his thoughts were when Keegan Bradley was announced as US captain for the 2025 Ryder Cup and how he believes he will do in the new role.

DeChambeau: Bradley taking the ‘right approach’

Bradley believes playing regularly on the PGA Tour will help make up for a lack of captaincy experience, having never served as part of a Ryder Cup backroom team, although insisted he would not pick himself if he failed to qualify automatically.

He also confirmed that he wants “the best 12 players” on his team next year and was “not worried about the LIV stuff”, as talks continue between the PGA Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment fund – who bankroll the LIV Golf League – to unify the men’s game.

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Schauffele says he’s happy for newly announced Team USA Ryder Cup captain Keegan Bradley and admits he knows the former PGA champion will be over the moon.

Brooks Koepka was the only player from LIV Golf to feature for Team USA in Rome, with US Open Bryson DeChambeau – who featured in the 2018 and 2021 Ryder Cups before failing to qualify last year – supporting Bradley’s stance.

“I’m excited for him,” DeChambeau said. “I think it’s a great opportunity for him, especially as it relates to younger players. He’s going to see that younger threshold, and obviously relate to them a lot more, I would say, because of his age.

“He’s seeing the younger generation game. He’s out there still playing and competing and it’s great to have some relatability. As far as picking the best players, that’s the right approach and I couldn’t be more happy for him as captain.”

Sky Sports will continue to be the home of the Ryder Cup, with all three days of the 2025 exclusively live from September 26-28 next year. Stream the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour and more with NOW.

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