John Daly: "I think Phil Mickelson should be the next captain, and play"
Phil Mickelson and Tom Watson at Gleneagles. Picture

Phil Mickelson and Tom Watson at Gleneagles. Picture

John Daly may never have played in the Ryder Cup but after watching the USA lose for the eighth time in 10 editions at Gleneagles, he reckons Phil Mickelson - or even Tiger Woods - should be a playing captain in 2016.

The Wild Thing, who opened with a three under 69 to lie six shots behind Miguel Ángel Jiménez in the Turkish Airlines Open, sees no reason for the PGA of America to set up a Task Force to stop America's Ryder Cup losing streak.

"The Task Force, I’m not a big fan of it," Daly said. "It is always cool for the PGA of America to pick the captain. The Task Force is probably going to overrule some of what the captain does. I think Phil Mickelson should be the next captain, and play. Let him be the captain.

"He seems to thrive on it, does well at it and knows it. Him or Tiger. There’s nothing wrong with that. Over the years there’s been a few playing captains."

John Daly, Picture Fran Caffrey

John Daly, Picture Fran Caffrey

Daly revealed that winning European skipper Paul McGinley told him at Mission Hills in China recently that he should be a US skipper.

"I would love to do it one year," Daly said. "I know it is probably never going to happen but it would be fun for me, it would be an experience, keep the guys loose. The guys just need to be a little loose and have some fun. 

"I think Phil would (have the respect of the players). He’s done so well in that format and been on the losing end, been on the winning end. Why wouldn’t you? He knows the system, he knows the PGA of America. He’s a three time PGA champion. He’d be a great captain."

Asked what the US is doing wrong, Daly reckoned it was simply a matter of getting outplayed by a team that was more relaxed.

"I just watched the singles and I looked at the stat Faldo said on the Sunday. We were like 76 under par and the Europeans were 128 under par. So it’s okay to get beat, but beating ourselves is the thing and we did that a few times. I think we just got beat. I don’t think our guys played that bad. 

"I don’t think [Phil] really said anything bad about Tom. I think the question was, what do you think needs to be different. I don’t think Phil said anything bad about Tom, he was talking about the pods, the three or four groups that Azinger did. He didn’t saying anything bad about Tom

"I think the media blew that whole question out of proportion. Phil answered that question the right way. He didn’t downgrade Tom Watson at all. He just thought Azinger’s system worked better for that type of Ryder Cup.

"We heard so much about Paul McGinley doing it his way and when you win, it’s always the right way. Tom is a great captain and a great man and it was an honour for him to be a Ryder Cip captain. I know the guys looked up to him but they got beat. It’s no different to american football or baseball. They always blame the quarterback or the coach."

So what's Daly's solution? Stay loose appears to be the buzz phrase. 

"Just be loose. Go and have fun. Play golf. Just enjoy the moment, enjoy yourself. That’s what we used to do when the Americans won so much. I think we have gotten away from that because we have just put so much pressure on ourselves as players.

"Just go out and enjoy, represent your country you are playing for. I just don’t see that."

Pressed a little more on what Watson might have got wrong, he said: "I didn’t understand why Keegan and Phil didn’t play on Saturday. Those two guys are unbeatable in my opinion. They get the crowd going and both play great together. That's the only thing I didn’t understand.

"We were missing a few guys? The guys we had were all playing pretty damn good golf. Hunter had won right before it. We were playing great. We just got beat."