Azinger told USA Today: “I’m not going to rule anything out.”
The 54-year-old said the US needed to move away from appointing “lone wolf” captains, instead copying the European model of selecting players with experience of the Ryder Cup as vice-captains.
He said: “The PGA of America [which appoints the captain] has officers that move up the ranks, getting sage advice along the way, and then many of them stick around and keep offering advice. I think the PGA of America should recognise their business model is exactly the same as Europe uses in selecting a captain.”
Of the past 10 US captains, only two were previously vice-captains.
“There is a razor-thin line between winning and losing these matches,” Azinger added. “Europe has the intangible right now. They give themselves the extra 1% chance to win through its business model and cohesiveness.
“Even if you play blackjack perfectly in a casino, the casino still has a very slight edge against you. Right now, Europe is the casino and the US is the guy walking to the blackjack table with a fistful of 50s.”
Azinger’s success was based on a “pod” system, which involved creating three groups of four players and allowing them to have a major influence on decisions, while Watson appeared to rely almost exclusively on his opinion and that of his vice-captains.
Asked whether he was consulted in any of the decision-making at Gleneagles, Mickelson said: “No. Nobody here was, in any decision.”
Watson had said in the build-up that he would use a modified version of Azinger’s pod system but added on Sunday: “I didn’t discount it. I just had a different philosophy right off the bat. He [Mickelson] has a difference of opinion. That’s okay. My management philosophy is different than his.”