There are endless possibilities regarding possible pairings for next week’s U.S. Ryder Cup team, but here’s one that you’re unlikely to see: Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson.
“I love Phil and we’re great friends, but we have a lot more fun when we’re playing against each other, not as partners,” Johnson said Wednesday on the eve of the $8.5 million Tour Championship.
Indeed, Johnson and Mickelson have engaged in a great many “Tuesday games” at PGA Tour tournaments, always as competitors. At one point a few years ago, Johnson was told that Mickelson figured he and Johnson had pretty much split their games evenly. Johnson smiled, shook his head and said he figured he had won more like 75 percent of them.
Yet there was a time when Johnson lobbied for the chance to play alongside Mickelson. “We wanted it (at the 2010 Ryder Cup). We thought it would be great,” Johnson said. But after getting trounced, 3 and 2, by Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer in four-ball, then losing, 3 and 2, to Padraig Harrington and Ross Fisher in foursomes, the experiment was over.
“Didn’t play worth a damn,” Johnson said. “Played like crap.”
Since then, Johnson has paired nicely with Matt Kuchar in the Ryder Cup and Jordan Spieth in the Presidents Cup, so he’s looking for a little more of that next week at Hazeltine National, and nothing alongside Mickelson.
“I think I can partner well with pretty much anyone,” Johnson said. “Except for Phil.”