Five-time Major winner Phil Mickelson believes captain Davis Love III has given the United States team the perfect platform to end Europe’s stranglehold on the Ryder Cup this week.
Mickelson was highly critical of previous skipper Tom Watson after the 2014 defeat at Gleneagles, complaints which resulted in the formation of a committee tasked with addressing the systemic failings.
Preparations this time have not been unblemished, with Love forced to scrap plans to name Bubba Watson as his last captain’s pick when Ryan Moore played himself into contention at the 11th hour.
But Mickelson – the most experienced player on the US team with 10 appearances, albeit just twice as a winner – insists Love has given them optimum conditions to flourish at Hazeltine.
“I think the difference is [that] when players are put in a position to succeed, more often than not, they tend to succeed. And when they are put in positions to fail, most of the time they tend to fail,” he said.
“This is a year where we feel as though captain Love has been putting us in a position to succeed. He’s taken input from all parties. He’s making decisions that have allowed us to prepare our best and play our best, and I believe that we will play our best.
“We are playing a very strong European team and I don’t know what that means results-wise, but our best golf will come out this week and that is our goal.”
The US have home advantage and are the bookmakers’ favourite to win the Ryder Cup, despite having lost eight of the last 10 editions of the biennial, three-day contest, which begins on Friday.