Will Phil Mickelson be a playing vice-captain, or does the role signal the end of his Ryder Cup playing days?
Phil Mickelson Named Ryder Cup Vice-Captain – But Will He Play?
Phil Mickelson will feature in the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits from 24-26 September, though he might not be playing after Steve Stricker has named him as one of his vice-captains for Team USA.
Mickelson joins the already confirmed vice-captains of Davis Love III, Jim Furyk and Zach Johnson, alongside the recently announced Fred Couples, who returns to the role he held in 2012 at Medinah.
“I’ve been staying in close contact with both Freddie and Phil, talking about all things Ryder Cup, for a while now,” Stricker said.
“They provide honest and impactful feedback, and both have such a passion for the Ryder Cup.
“I’m honoured that they were willing to join our team and help put us in the best position to win in a few weeks at Whistling Straits.”
Mickelson’s 12 consecutive Ryder Cup appearances since debuting in 1995 at Oak Hill makes him the United States’ record appearance maker, but for now he will only be involved in the upcoming tournament as a vice-captain.
The top-six automatic qualifiers on the USA Ryder Cup points list are already confirmed, with Lefty unable to finish any higher than 20th.
Stricker does still have six captain’s picks to complete his team, which are announced on Wednesday, but Mickelson’s one top-15 finish in 2021 means he won’t be playing at the Tour Championship.
Despite this, it is still possible for the six-time Major winner to be selected for the Ryder Cup team – Jim Furyk selected him as one of his wildcard picks in 2018, and Mickelson could help on both the captain and playing side of things this time around.
Additionally, Mickelson’s PGA Championship win at Kiawah Island in May shows he is still a serious candidate for his 13th appearance at the Ryder Cup too, which also made him the oldest Major winner in history.
If the 51-year-old does miss out on the playing squad, he’ll become the first American to win a Major and not make the Ryder Cup team in the same year since John Daly in both 1991 and 1995.
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