Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau approve of Keegan Bradley’s Ryder Cup captaincy

Keegan Bradley’s Ryder Cup captaincy has received the stamp of approval from two of LIV Golf’s biggest stars.

Phil Mickelson, who owns a 4-1-0 record playing alongside Bradley in the Ryder Cup, called him “incredible” while adding that he felt surprised by the pick—like many others in the golf world. Bryson DeChambeau echoed similar sentiments.

“I think it’s a great pick the more I think about it,” Mickelson said ahead of LIV Golf’s event in Andalucía Wednesday.

“He played a lot of golf at Bethpage Black when he went to St. Johns. 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.”

Bradley has repeatedly discussed how much he loves this competition and said at his introductory press conference on Tuesday that he is “on a mission to win.” He also added that he will take the 12 best golfers on Team USA in 2025, regardless of what tour they play on.

“As far as picking the best players, that’s the right approach, and I couldn’t be more happy for him as captain,” Dechambeau said.

Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, Ryder Cup

Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau embrace after Team USA won the 2021 Ryder Cup.
Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

“I’m excited for him. 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.”

In September 2025, Bradley will be 39 years old, making him the youngest Ryder Cup captain since 1963, when 33-year-old Arnold Palmer led the Americans as a playing captain at East Lake. Palmer’s Team USA won with ease over Great Britain that year, although that edition took place before all of continental Europe became involved in 1979.

Since then, the U.S. and Europe have faced off 22 times, with the Europeans winning or retaining the cup on 13 occasions. But since the turn of the century, Europe has dominated, winning the Ryder Cup eight times over the past 24 years. Two of those victories came in 2012 and 2014, the only two appearances Bradley made for Team USA. Bradley still feels the effects of those losses even 10 years later.

Of course, in 2023, Captain Zach Johnson overlooked Bradley for the American side in last year’s competition, as the Europeans wound up boat racing the Americans in Rome.

“I’m really, really happy for him,” Mickelson added.

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

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough for more golf coverage. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko as well.

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