Phil Mickelson insists his PGA Championship victory alone won’t be enough to secure a Ryder Cup return, although admits he’d love to continue his streak of representing Team USA.
Mickelson became the oldest major champion in history with a two-shot win at Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course, a venue that share similarities with Whistling Straits – the venue for the Ryder Cup from September 25-27.
The 50-year-old’s victory was his sixth major title and saw him jump to world No 32, having started the week outside of the top 100, as well as lifting him to 16th in the Ryder Cup qualification standings.
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USA captain Steve Stricker admitted that golf’s most recent major champion was “in the mix” to be considered this year’s Ryder Cup side, but Mickelson is wary he’ll have to do more in the coming months if he’s to guarantee a record 13th consecutive appearance for Team USA.
“I have not been a thought, let alone event in the discussion for the Ryder Cup, but in my heart I always felt that if I played and could put it together on the regular tour that I might be able to move up and give myself an opportunity,” Mickelson said ahead of the Charles Schwab Challenge.
“If I’m the captain, I’m not going to want a guy that plays well one week in an entire year. Just because I played really well last week and won a big championship, that doesn’t warrant a spot on the team by any means.
“I now at least have an opportunity over the course of the next three months to play at a high level consistently and maybe be able to be in a position to add something to the team. If not, we have such a good group of young players that I don’t want to disrupt that either.
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“For me, personally, if I can add to the team and not be a hinderance or a distraction, then I would obviously love to be a part of it because they’re such special events. I’d love to be able to play for captain Stricker, but all I have now is an opportunity.”
Mickelson is honouring his commitment to tee it up at Colonial Country Club this week, a venue where he won in 2000 and 2008, with the left-hander then set to take two weeks off ahead of his latest bid to complete the career Grand Slam at the US Open.
“It means a lot to be to be on the wall of champions and be there twice and to have an opportunity to add to that,” Mickelson added. “I enjoy competing here and I think this golf course, as I’ve gotten older, actually suits me a little bit better.
“You have the chance to hit a lot of iron shots into the greens, not hit so many drivers and keep it in play a little bit easier, so I’m very optimistic to be able to continue the play I had last week, as well as my focus, and see if I can give myself another opportunity.
“I’ve been looking forward to coming back and playing here. It never crossed my mind never not to play here and I’m excited to be here.”
Watch the Charles Schwab Challenge throughout the week live on Sky Sports Golf. Live coverage begins with Featured Groups via the red button on Thursday from 1pm, ahead of full coverage from 9pm.
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