News & ToursSeptember 28, 2014

What They Said, What They Meant: Phil And Tom Edition!

We don't want to overwork our What They Said/Meant algorithm too hard since the entire American Ryder Cup press conference might just implode our carefully crafted formula designed to occasionally interpret what pro golfers are really saying.

You can read all of the key exchanges from the wild and wacky press conference here courtesy of our Alex Myers, but below are a couple of the more nuanced moments. Starting with a follow up to a question of Phil Mickelson who elaborated in brutally honest fashion on why the 2008 Ryder Cup worked compared to 2014.

Q. That felt like a pretty brutal destruction of the leadership that's gone on this week.__

PHIL MICKELSON: Oh, I'm sorry you're taking it that way. I'm just talking about what Paul Azinger did to help us play our best. It's certainly -- I don't understand why you would take it that way. You asked me what I thought we should do going toward to bring our best golf out and I go back to when we played our best golf and try to replicate that formula.Q. That didn't happen this week?PHIL MICKELSON: Uh (pausing) no. No, nobody here was in any decision. So, no. Algorithm, please translate! Q. That felt like you just said to us Tom Watson is a truly terrible Captain. Go on.

__PHIL MICKELSON: Oh, I'm really sorry you're taking it that way because I wouldn't want to be thought of as saying he was merely poor leader, because that's just the tip of the iceberg. This guy couldn't coach a PGA Junior League team! So I'm just talking about what Paul Azinger did that made sense and which no one since has imitated.  At least read the man's book! So you asked me what I thought we should do going toward to bring out our best golf and I go back to when we played our best golf and try to replicate that formula. Azinger in '16 baby!

Q. That didn't happen this week?__

__PHIL MICKELSON: Uh (pausing) no. No, nobody here was in any decision, as evidenced by the red pants we are wearing, the weird pairings and pretty much everything else that happened. Especially those Ryder Cup sweaters on Friday. So no, we weren't consulted but I swear, I'm not trying to imply Captain Watson did a lousy job!

Montana Pritchard/PGA of America

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TOM WATSON: Yes, I would. I would like to see the change in that format. Then everybody knows they are going to go 36 holes and then everybody knows that they have to be in shape to play. That's one of the important decisions that I may have missed is playing, say, Jimmy Walker for four straight rounds, two 36-hole matches. And if that wasn't up to my decision, then every player wouldn't understand that.

And now, after running through our fully copyrighted formula…

Q. Every two years the two captains come in and give us scribblers some nonsense about how the hardest part of their job is benching people. Would you like to see that as part of the game so you truly are nothing more than a chaperon of millionaires?

TOM WATSON: Yes, I would. I would like to see the change in that format. Then everybody knows they are going to go 36 holes and then everybody knows that they have to be in shape to play. Phil, did you catch that part? In shape? 36 holes?  That's one of the important decisions that I may have missed is playing, say, Jimmy Walker because I don't want to use Phil's name here, for four straight rounds, two 36-hole matches. And if that wasn't up to my decision, then every player wouldn't understand that they can't come in here like the fat, bog-mouth schlubs that they are and expect to lollygag. Because they're lollygaggers, really. This group needed two-a-day, Lee Westwood or Darren Clarke-type slimming.

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