GLENEAGLES, Scotland -- For the first time in 20 years, Phil Mickelson, the man who has played more Ryder Cup matches than any other American, was held out of both the four-ball and foursomes in the same day. The 44-year-old five-time major champion and his Medinah CC dance partner, Keegan Bradley, found out in the team room at lunchtime that, not only were they being sat out in the morning four-ball but they'd be relegated to cheerleading in the afternoon foursomes, as well.
Mickelson and Bradley were the unbeaten marquee American team two years ago at Medinah when Davis Love III decided not to play them on Saturday afternoon after they won their morning match, 7 and 6, saying they needed the rest. The next day the U.S. fell victim to the biggest comeback in Ryder Cup history, losing the competition by a single point.
In their Friday morning four-ball match at Gleneagles, Mickelson and Bradley beat Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy, 1 up, but in the afternoon foursomes, Mickelson putted poorly and Bradley struggled with his ball-striking. That led to captain Tom Watson's decision to rest them on Saturday morning.
Their absence in the afternoon came as a shock, however, on a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course that favors big hitters.
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