According to a fresh report from G.C. Digital, Phil Mickelson has told Golf Channel and Golf World reporter Tim Rosaforte that he was in the wrong by singling out decisions made during Hal Sutton's captaincy.
Mickelson acknowledged that the comments came off wrong.
“I’ve communicated with him,” Mickelson told Rosaforte. “I feel awful. It was never meant to be like that. I was trying to use an example of how a captain can have a strong effect. Unfortunately, it came across the way it did.”
Sutton and other past captains have been invited to hang out in the team room and at Hazeltine as a display of unity.
“I was totally in the wrong,” Mickelson said. “I never should have brought that up. I used an extreme example the way decisions can affect play, and I never should have done that because it affected Hal.”
Rosaforte's report on Live From, where he also explains that Mickelson hopes Sutton will still feel welcome to visit the team room, where past captain's have been encouraged to hang out in hopes of creating an "inclusive family feel."
Sutton reportedly left town but is scheduled to appear in a captain's exhibition match with Ben Crenshaw at midday.
The full Rosaforte report:
Randall Mell looked at the episode before Mickelson's apology and explained the whole mess very well. This explanation from Captain Davis Love doesn't add up though, as Mickelson was the one who raised the 2004 matter, not the press.
American captain Davis Love III was asked in his news conference Wednesday if Mickelson’s calling out Sutton again was appropriate. Love indicated Mickelson is in some ways playing defense.
“Unfortunately, some analysts just keep bringing it up over and over and over again, things that have happened in the past,” Love said. “Sometimes, you have to set the record straight.”
If you have the time, Dave Anderson's New York Times account of the 2004 ball episode is worth a read. Perhaps some of the lingering bitterness stems from Sutton making Mickelson adapt to Tiger's equipment...
Should Mickelson be teamed with Woods in the afternoon alternate-shot match today and perhaps again tomorrow, he will be using a rare mixture: Callaway woods, Titleist irons and putter, and a Nike ball. But why Tiger's ball?
"I personally felt that it would be very difficult to tell a guy that was 257 times or whatever the leading player in the world," Sutton said, alluding to Woods. "And you're going to ask him to switch balls. I didn't want to put Tiger in that position, so I just said, 'You need to know how to hit this ball right here."'
**Alex Miceli feels Mickelson knew exactly what he'd planned to say.
When Mickelson came into the interview room here Wednesday, he knew that he was going to criticize Sutton.
Similarly, he knew that he would attack Tom Watson’s captaincy in the moments after the U.S. lost, 16 1/2-11 1/2, two years ago at Gleneagles in Scotland.
The only difference between Mickelson’s actions then and now is that Mickelson had the guts to say those comments in front of Watson. This time, Mickelson brought up a 12-year-old event against a man not in the room and who never fully recovered from that Ryder Cup debacle.