Ryder Cup 2016: Phil Mickelson apologises for criticising Hal Sutton's captaincy

Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson
Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, pictured at the 2014 PGA Championship, lost both games when they were paired together on day one of the 2004 Ryder Cup
Ryder Cup 2016
Venue: Hazeltine National, Minnesota Dates: 30 September - 2 October
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live, highlights on BBC Two plus live text commentary on the BBC Sport website.

Phil Mickelson has apologised to Hal Sutton for criticising the way he captained the 2004 US Ryder Cup team.

The five-time major winner had been asked about the importance of captains and spoke of Sutton's decision to pair him with Tiger Woods.

Mickelson, 46, called it "an example of starting with the captain that put us in a position to fail and we failed monumentally, absolutely".

On Thursday, Mickelson said: "It was never meant to be like that."

Speaking to the Golf Channel, he added: "I was trying to use an example of how a captain can have a strong effect. Unfortunately, it came across the way it did.

"I feel awful. I've communicated with him that I'm sorry. I was totally in the wrong. I never should have brought that up. I used an extreme example of the way decisions can affect play and I never should have done that because it affected Hal."

Woods and Mickelson were paired together on the opening day at Oakland Hills in 2004, when they lost both matches, and never played together again.

"We were told two days before that we were playing together and that gave us no time to prepare," Mickelson said on Wednesday.

Sutton, who presided over a record 18½- 9½ defeat in 2004, had responded before Thursday's apology.

"Nothing surprises me in the world we live in today," he told Golfweek. "I don't think I can win by saying anything.

"I mean, my God, somebody's got to be the fall guy. If it needs to be me, I can do that. If he wants to put the blame on me, then let him do it.

"If I still need to shoulder the blame for Phil, I'll do that. I pretty much quit golf after that. I took the blame for everything."

Mickelson will play in his 11th Ryder Cup as part of the US team that will take on Europe at Hazeltine National in Minnesota, starting on Friday.

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