Will Phil Mickelson have a Ryder Cup role? Here’s what Keegan Bradley says

Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley at the 2014 Ryder Cup in Gleneagles, Scotland.

Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley at the 2014 Ryder Cup in Gleneagles, Scotland.

BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images

Keegan Bradley’s Ryder Cup captaincy certainly came as a surprise, which is ironic, because it wasn’t long ago that the U.S. captain for the 2025 Bethpage Black Ryder Cup seemed practically a slam dunk to be Phil Mickelson.

Mickelson has long been a fan favorite in the Greater New York area. He won his second major, the 2005 PGA Championship, at nearby Baltusrol in New Jersey. But he’s also suffered some of his greatest heartbreaks in New York, as four of his six U.S. Open runner-up finishes have taken place in the state.

He was second to Tiger Woods at Bethpage Black in 2002, the runner-up to Retief Goosen at Shinnecock Hills in 2004, lost to Geoff Ogilvy at Winged Foot in 2006 and, finally, was the runner-up to Lucas Glover at Bethpage in 2009.

In a way, those losses (and the way in which Mickelson treated and was received by the fans) might have earned Mickelson even more fanfare. He later won his second PGA title at Kiawah Island in 2021, putting yet another feather in his cap to someday captain the U.S. Ryder Cup team (an event run by the PGA of America).

But much changed in the summer of 2022, when Mickelson joined LIV Golf and, in the time since, has thrown several jabs while airing his grievances with the PGA Tour.

Mickelson wasn’t even a part of the 2023 Ryder Cup in Rome.

On Tuesday, at his introductory press conference, Bradley was asked if Mickelson would have a role on his team. Despite Mickelson being 16 years older than Bradley, the two are close. They played those famous Mickelson-led Tuesday money games, teaming up as partners in many of them. In the two Ryder Cups Bradley qualified for, he paired with Mickelson to go 4-1, including a 3-0 record at Medinah in 2012.

“I still have a great relationship with Phil,” Bradley said Tuesday. “I don’t think he’s interested in being a vice captain. And to be honest with you, he’s a captain, someday, I think. I haven’t spoken to Phil, I don’t want to speak for him at all, but I think he’s pretty busy with what he’s doing and I have nothing but great things to say about Phil and our memories together, and what we did at the Ryder Cup is really one of my fondest memories in the game.”

Of course, Mickelson could always qualify or earn a pick for the team, too. (Although, as it stands, the pathway isn’t easy for LIV players.) Brooks Koepka was the only LIV player on last year’s U.S. Ryder Cup team, but when Bradley was asked about LIV players’ future for the 2025 Ryder Cup, he answered so quickly it was almost as if he was ready for it.

“I’m going to have the 12 best players on the team,” he said. “I don’t care where they play.”

Josh Berhow

Golf.com Editor

As GOLF.com’s managing editor, Berhow handles the day-to-day and long-term planning of one of the sport’s most-read news and service websites. He spends most of his days writing, editing, planning and wondering if he’ll ever break 80. Before joining GOLF.com in 2015, he worked at newspapers in Minnesota and Iowa. A graduate of Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minn., he resides in the Twin Cities with his wife and two kids. You can reach him at joshua_berhow@golf.com.

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