Sunday 19 January 2020

I'll make sure I don't need wild card to extend record Ryder Cup run – Mickelson

Phil Mickelson has appeared in every Ryder Cup since making his debut in 1995 and is proud to have qualified automatically all nine times, but may need a wildcard to make this year's team. Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Phil Mickelson has appeared in every Ryder Cup since making his debut in 1995 and is proud to have qualified automatically all nine times, but may need a wildcard to make this year's team. Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Phil Casey

Phil Mickelson is confident he will improve his own record for Ryder Cup appearances when the qualifying period for the United States' team comes to an end on Sunday.

Mickelson is currently 10th in the points standings, with the top nine at the conclusion of the US PGA Championship at Valhalla sealing a place on the team for Gleneagles at the end of September.

The five-time Major winner has appeared in every Ryder Cup since making his debut in 1995 and is proud to have qualified automatically all nine times.

Asked if he thought he would receive a wild card from captain Tom Watson, Mickelson said: "I'm not to that point yet. I've got five more days here.

"I really do believe that after the way I played on the weekend, I think I'll continue that play into this week and I'm confident that I'll get on the team on my own and won't require that pick. I want to keep that streak going of two decades that I have."

Mickelson looked out of form in the defence of his Open title at Royal Liverpool and for most of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational last week, but carded a closing 62 to close the gap to former Masters champion Zach Johnson, who occupies the last automatic qualifying place.

The 44-year-old's nine appearances is already a record for the United States – Nick Faldo played 11 times for Europe – although the left-hander has only tasted victory twice.

The first came in the controversial 'Battle of Brookline' in 1999 and the second here at Valhalla in 2008.

"It really is a fun place for us to play because of the memories that we have in 2008," Mickelson added.

"Winning the Ryder Cup here was a very emotional experience and the people here in Louisville, we kept calling them our 13th man because they were such an asset to us in keeping us motivated, excited and giving us momentum.

"The course is in immaculate condition and I think that the set-up of it is sensational in that the fairways are a very fair width. There's nothing tricked up about the golf course.

"The greens are in perfect condition, pristine and you can really make a lot of putts if you get hot.

"The rough is challenging, but it's not 'hack it out' – you have some decisions to make. It's just a very well thought out, wonderful set-up.

"The scores might be low if the rain comes in and the course is soft, but if it firms up a little bit it will be a real challenge because it is a long golf course."

PA Media

The Left Wing: Leinster's weak point, Johann van Graan's future and Doris vs Deegan

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport