[PHOTO: Mike Stobe]
It’s safe to say Lanny Wadkins isn’t the biggest Phil Mickelson fan these days.
The 21-time PGA Tour winner and former Ryder Cup captain was asked last month on Golf Channel about the LIV golfer after Mickelson’s gambling habits—including allegedly trying to bet on the 2012 Ryder Cup—were revealed in a book by famed gambler Billy Walters. And Wadkins didn’t hold back.
“I don’t know if there has ever been a more disappointing figure in the game of golf than Phil Mickelson,” Wadkins said in an appearance on “Golf Today”.
“Seeing what’s transpired with him over the last 10-plus years, I mean, he was a beloved figure for a long time,” Wadkins added, referring to Mickelson leaving the PGA Tour for LIV Golf. “We all marvelled at the way he could play, but nothing looks kosher about what he’s doing these days.”
In a statement to Australian Golf Digest, Mickelson said he “never bet on the Ryder Cup”.
“If it wasn’t for golf, where would Phil Mickelson be? You know, he’d be gambling in a ditch somewhere. So, you know, It’s not good. I think he owes more to the game than what he’s done,” Wadkins added. “No question he would have been a captain, probably a two-time captain. He probably would have been the captain next time at Bethpage Black when it comes over here. Instead, it’ll probably be Tiger.”
Zach Johnson will captain the US team in two weeks in Rome. The next Ryder Cup is scheduled for September 2025 at Bethpage Black on Long Island.
Wadkins captained the U.S. to a 14.5-13.5 defeat at Oak Hill in 1995. That happened to be Mickelson’s Ryder Cup debut—and best Ryder Cup performance—as he went 3-0. Wadkins and Mickelson each have 21.5 career points in the event, the most of any living American.
This article was originally published on golfdigest.com