Former Ryder Cup captain Nick Faldo insists Phil Mickelson was out of line in questioning the decision-making of defeated captain Tom Watson.
Seen as the US Team’s senior player, Mickelson caused a media furore in the press conference that followed a 16½-11½ European victory at Gleneagles by praising Paul Azinger’s leadership of the 2008 team.
When questioned on Mickelson’s comments the morning after, 65-year-old Watson said that the Californian ‘had a different opinion where he would like to manage the team’ – and Faldo suggests that the rift plagued the Americans’ bid to clinch the trophy for the first time since Valhalla.
Faldo, who led the European team to defeat that year, told Sky Sports News HQ: “I think they’ve got serious communication problems in the team room and throughout the week, which is tough.
“That should have been a private conversation between Phil and Tom. If he felt that strongly about it, that wasn’t really the right place to start talking about it as soon as he came off the golf course.
“They arrived in a shiny jumbo jet. They left with Phil driving the school bus and he threw his captain under the big yellow American school bus. That was bad timing.”