Ryder Cup disappointment stays with Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson said the 2012 Ryder Cup, which the U.S. led 10-6 after two days before losing, is "one of the biggest lows of my career."

SHENZHEN, China — Phil Mickelson has spent the past month trying to get over the Americans’ defeat in the Ryder Cup.


Playing for the first time since the Ryder Cup in the HSBC Champions starting today at Mission Hills, Mickelson says it will take him awhile longer to forget what happened in Medinah.

“I think the first two weeks following the Ryder Cup was a really tough low, one of the biggest lows of my career,” he says. “It was one of the biggest disappointments that I’ve had to deal with.

“That disappointment will last a lot longer than a month. I still feel disappointment from it. I still feel that over the next two years, we’ll still have the same disappointment from not winning this year’s Ryder Cup.”

Mickelson lost to Justin Rose in the turning point of the competition on the last day, as the U.S. blew a six-point lead and lost by one.

Mickelson is also trying to look on the bright side – his partnership with Keegan Bradley at the Ryder Cup has at least given him new motivation to work on his game.

“I had a great couple of days playing with Keegan as a partner,” he said. “And I saw some things where I can improve my game and I have this new kind of excitement and energy that Keegan has, and it’s rubbed off on me and I am excited to play and work and practice.”

HSBC CHAMPIONS: The tournament lost some star power when Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods decided to skip the World Golf Championships event – much to the disappointment of the tournament backers.

Giles Morgan, global head of sponsorship and events for HSBC, said he was “disappointed” that No. 1-ranked McIlroy and Woods, a 14-time major winner, are skipping the HSBC Champions after playing elsewhere in Asia.

“To have a World Golf Championship in Asia is really important for the sport, to balance the sport out, and to grow,” Morgan said. “And because it’s a World Golf Championship event, it requires the best players to be here.”

McIlroy and Woods chose to play in a lucrative, head-to-head exhibition event in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou on Monday, a day after competing in tournaments in Shanghai and Malaysia.

Instead of coming to Mission Hills this weekend, McIlroy is in Bulgaria to watch his girlfriend, Caroline Wozniacki, play in the WTA’s Tournament of Champions, while Woods is making a trip to Singapore for corporate commitments.

ASIA-PACIFIC AMATEUR: Two-time defending champion Hideki Matsuyama headlines the field in this event, which begins today at Amada Spring Country Club in Chonburi, Thailand.

The winner earns an invitation to the 2013 Masters Tournament.

The 72-hole stroke play tournament features 120 players from the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation’s 36 member associations.

It is organized by the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation, the Masters Tournament and the R&A.