Bishop airs lessons learned by U.S. in Cup loss

Tue Sep 30, 2014 7:57pm EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - As the dust settles over yet another Ryder Cup defeat for the United States, PGA of America president Ted Bishop says he would like to see a more "systematic approach" in selecting the U.S. captain for 2016.

Bishop, who expressed "absolutely no regrets" over the appointment of the much maligned Tom Watson for last week's Cup showdown with Europe at Gleneagles in Scotland, is also in favor of a much later selection of the 2016 U.S. team.

Those were the key changes highlighted by Bishop in a wide-ranging interview with Reuters on Tuesday in which he was asked about the lessons learned by the Americans after they had suffered their eighth Ryder Cup loss to Europe in a decade.

He also spoke about the perceived division within the U.S. team, a topic which became a hot-button issue after Cup veteran Phil Mickelson launched a thinly-veiled attack on Watson's strategy as a captain shortly after the cup was won by Europe.

"There's been a lot made of what Phil Mickelson said on Sunday night at the press conference," said Bishop, who was already back at work at his Legends Golf Club in Indiana on Tuesday.

"You know what, that was no surprise to me because I had a very similar conversation with Phil when we played together in the pro-am at the Scottish Open back in July at Royal Aberdeen.

"I had asked Phil a question about his perception of the Ryder Cup and he gave me the same answer that he gave on Sunday night, so it's clear to me that he feels very strongly about that."

Bishop, whose PGA of America organization represents more than 27,000 golf professionals, felt Mickelson's biggest mistake was not to speak out earlier, and in private with Watson.   Continued...

Aug 10, 2014; Louisville, KY, USA; PGA golfer Rory McIlroy catches the Wanamaker Trophy as it slips out of the hands of PGA president Ted Bishop when presented after winning the 2014 PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports