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Souhan on Sports

Jim Souhan analyzes the local sports scene

Did Willett offend you?

So on Wednesday European captain Darren Clarke found himself apologizing for a post written by someone who isn't even on his team.

Peter Willett, brother of Euro player and reigning Masters champ Danny Willett, wrote the following about American golf fans:

``They need to silence the pudgy, basement-dwelling, irritants, stuffed on cookie dough and pissy beer, pausing between mouthfuls of hotdog so they can scream 'Baba booey' until their jelly faces turn red.

They need to stun the angry, unwashed, Make America Great Again swarm, desperately gripping their concealed-carry compensators and belting out a mini-erection inducing 'mashed potato,' hoping to impress their cousin."

Should American golf fans be offended by that?

Depends.

If you indeed are one of those people who yells ``Baba booey'' or ``Get in the hole'' during tee shots on par-5s...if you taunt opponents or try to turn a major golf event into a selfie of yourself... then you should be offended. Because thsi is about you.

If you are the typical American golf fan who behaves well and doesn't think it's your job to attract attention, then feel free to be offended.

I walked Hazeltine National a couple of times on Wednesday. I found 99 percent respectful, enthralled golf fans, and 1 percent who wanted to yell something silly at every player they recognized.

If you buy a ticket, you have the right to do that. And if you do that, someone impolite like Peter Willett has the right to criticize you for it.

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From 6-7 tonight at the Jaguar-Land Rover dealer in Minneapolis we'll run the Minnesota Sports Podcast Network Ryder Cup Special with Jim Lehman as our guest. Jim is a great amateur player, an agent and the brother to Tom Lehman, a vice captain for the U.S. during the Ryder Cup. Please stop by and ask a question.

@Souhanstrib

Souhan: Phil Mickelson rips another former Ryder Cup captain

After the U.S. lost the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles two years ago, Phil Mickelson hammered team captain Tom Watson. At least he was in the moment.

Wednesday at Hazeltine National, Mickelson criticized Hal Sutton from the 2004 U.S. loss at Oakland Hills. Phil's statute of limitations has few limits.

Asked how much difference a captain makes, Mickelson said, ``Unbelievable.''

Here's the rest of his answer:

``It all starts with the captain. I mean, that's the guy that has to bring together 12 strong individuals and bring out their best and allow them on a platform to play their best. That's the whole foundation of this team. You're saying - and I understand and I hear - well, guys just need to play better or they just need to putt better. Absolutely. You do.

``But you play how you prepare. And in major championships, when we win or play well in majors, it's because we prepared properly for those events,. And that allowed us to bring out our best golf. And in a Ryder Cup, you have to prepare properly for the event.

``Now, I see these looks, like `What are you talking about?' Let me give you an example, if I may. Twelve years ago, okay, in 2004, Tiger and I were paired together and we ended up not playing well. Was that the problem? I mean, maybe. But we were told two days before that we were playing together. And that gave us no time to work together and prepare.''

Mickelson went on to say that he and Woods played different types of ball and that Mickelson had to waste valuable practice time on the course getting used to Woods' preferred golf ball.

``Had we known a month in advance, we might have been able to make it work,'' Mickelson said. ``I think we probably would have made it work. But we didn't know until two days prior. Now I loved, I'm not trying to throw, or knock anybody here, because I actually loved how decisive Captain Sutton was...But that's an example of starting with the captain, that put us in a position to fail and we failed monumentally.

``To say, well, you just need to play better - that is so misinformed because you will play how you prepare.''

Good thing Phil has gotten over it.

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Special Ryder Cup edition of the Minnesota Sports Podcast Network - 6-7 tonight at the Jaguar/Land Rover dealership in Golden Valley, Jim Lehman and I will talk Ryder Cup, Tom Lehman, Minnesota golf and local sports. The event runs 5:30-7:30 and we'll take live questions. Please stop by.

@Souhanstrib

6:15 PM (FSN)
Minnesota 56-101
Kansas City 80-77