Wadkins Puts Boot Into Mickelson

Lanny Wadkins left nothing behind when asked about the recent allegations that Phil Mickelson tried to place a bet on the 2012 Ryder Cup – a match that Mickelson was playing in and one that the United States would throw away a 10-4 lead at Medinah.

Wadkins, who was Mickelson's first Ryder Cup skipper in 1995, tore into the left-hander on Golf Channel Monday despite Mickelson refuting the claims.

“Very disconcerting. I don’t know if there has ever been a more disappointing figure in golf than Phil Mickelson, seeing what’s transpired with him over the last 10-plus years. He was the beloved figure for a long time. We all marvelled at the way he could play. But nothing looks kosher about what he’s doing these days.”

For his part Mickelson refuted the claims.

“I never bet on the Ryder Cup. While it is well known that I always enjoy a friendly wager on the course, I would never undermine the integrity of the game. I have also been very open about my gambling addiction. I have previously conveyed my remorse, took responsibility, have gotten help, have been fully committed to therapy that has positively impacted me and I feel good about where I am now.”

As for his future prospects of being a Ryder Cup captain, Wadkins believes that that ship has long since sailed.

“He probably would’ve been a two-time captain. Now he’s not going to be involved. It’s really kind of a shame. He’s really self-imploded, and he just continues to do it at every turn. It’s disappointing and sad. It’s sad that we have people in our game that think they’re bigger than the game, and obviously Phil thinks he’s bigger.”

Wadkins also agreed with fellow captain Hal Sutton's comments that there is too much greed in the game these days and that things have got out of hand.

"I totally agree with Hal," Wadkins added. "I even texted him after I saw his interview. I texted him and said 'great job, man, you hit it right on the nose.' I don't understand why the tour has, for example, had to jump purses to the amount they did this year and put themselves in a position that was uncomfortable.

"Wouldn't it have been good enough playing for twelve or fifteen million? I mean, come on. It's a little disappointing, it really is. I don't know where that mindset is coming from, but it's a little unsettling to a lot of us that have been around the game for a long time."

Next year's FedEx Cup champion will receive $25m, up from $18m this year.