Phil Mickelson’s streak of playing on every US Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup since 1994 will continue, courtesy of US Presidents Cup Captain Steve Stricker, who made him one of his two picks this morning.
Stricker also chose another native San Diegan, Mickelson’s friend Charley Hoffman, to round out his 12-man team. Hoffman, 40, will be playing in his first Presidents Cup.
The International team Captain Nick Price added Emiliano Grillo of Argentina and Anirban Lahiri of India.
“We all know what Phil brings to the table,” Stricker said. “He’s been on 20 plus teams. He’s an important part of all these teams. He, too, is starting to play better. He guarantees me he’s on the right track.”
The Presidents Cup begins on Thursday, September 28, at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, New Jersey, just across the Hudson River from Manhattan.
Mickelson, 47, seemed to have been a lock, notwithstanding his having finished 15th on the points list. His experience, along with the fact he’s beloved in the New York area, made him an easy choice. Moreover, he tied for sixth in the Dell Technologies Championship on Tuesday (AEST).
“It really has been special the way the people [in the New York area] have treated me and my family,” Mickelson said. “They’re incredible sports fans. It’s a great place for the USA to play and complete. I don’t know what sparked it, but I’m certainly very appreciative.”
This will be Mickelson’s 12th Presidents Cup. He also has played on the last 11 US Ryder Cup teams.
“ My excitement to be on this team is as great as it’s been for any team I’ve been on,” Mickelson said. “It means a lot to me. What means a lot to me this year is that they wanted me there even though I didn’t get the spot on my own. I really love being around these guys. I respect how great they are. This is a special team and to be a part of it is very meaningful to me.”
Hoffman, meanwhile, finished 11th on the points list, edged out by Kevin Chappell in the final round of the Dell on Monday.
“[Kevin] Chappell and I were sort of going back and forth that last day in Boston,” Hoffman said. “I’m glad it’s finally over and I finally made an American team and I can’t wait. It’s a very special moment. Phil and I have played a lot of golf in San Diego and he talks a lot about it. It’s sort of one of the things that drove me to get on this team was sort of the ribbing he gave me put on the golf course out in San Diego and knowing how special it would be to be a part of this Presidents Cup.”
The International team has not won a Presidents Cup since 1998 and has lost six in a row after a tie in 2003.
“We can’t be complacent,” Mickelson said. “If we play our best and are prepared I believe we’ll come out on top. But they are an incredibly talented team and if we take some things for granted we’ll get beat.”
The rest of the US team: Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler, Daniel Berger, Brooks Koepka, Kevin Kisner, Patrick Reed and Matt Kuchar.
The rest of the International team: Hideki Matsuyama, Jason Day, Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen, Marc Leishman, Charl Schwartzel, Branden Grace, Si Woo Kim, Jhonattan Vegas and Adam Hadwin.