Johnson: Please don’t pair me with Mickelson
Don’t do it…don’t put me with Phil.
That was the bemused plea from US Open champion Dustin Johnson in the lead-up to this week’s Ryder Cup at Hazeltine in Minnesota.
Dustin Johnson (Credit:www.golffile.ie)
While the laid-back Johnson agreed that he’d be happy to be paired with any of his American team-mates he did say Phil Mickelson was the exception.
“I think I can partner pretty well with pretty-much anyone, except for Phil,” Johnson told reporters at last weekend’s Tour Championship in Atlanta.
“Me and Phil just don’t partner well together. We play well against each other.”
“I love Phil and we’re great friends but we have a lot more fun when we’re playing against each other than we do when we’re partners.”
Johnson is actually serious as the two regularly pair up for practice rounds before tournaments…usually with some sort of wager on the line.
Still their friendly rivalry goes back as far as the 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor in Wales when the two were thrust together in the opening day’s foursomes and four-balls.
The dye was cast when the pair lost both matches 3&2.
And while Mickelson is popular with his fellow players, he has also failed to “click” with none other than Tiger Woods when they have been tried together.
At the 2004 Ryder Cup the then captain Hal Sutton figured they would be just about invincible if they played together.
They lost both those first-day matches too and haven’t been paired together ever since.
Mickelson has a 16 wins, 19 losses and six halves Ryder Cup record while the younger Johnson’s record is 4-3-0 after playing in just two Cups so far.
So while two of the most powerful players in the United States will not be paired together, captain Davis Love III will expect both to “anchor” their team and carry them a long way towards winning back the Cup this week.