Phil Mickelson still pushing to make Ryder Cup team, would accept vice captain role

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Phil Mickelson knows his chances of making the American Ryder Cup team are, at best, a long shot. Despite his unlikely victory at the PGA Championship this spring, his streak of being a player on every Ryder Cup team since 1995 will most likely come to an end this year at Whistling Straits.

But, in classic Mickelson fashion, he’s not conceding just yet.

Before his round at Caves Valley, Mickelson took to Twitter on Thursday and vowed he had “nothing to lose” and planned on “going low.” He didn’t quite go as low as he would have liked, but the 4-under 68 he did shoot in the BMW Championship represented his second-lowest score since May, a good indication of how much he has struggled to find form since the PGA.

“The only way for me to have a realistic chance of being picked is to get into the Tour Championship and then play well in the Tour Championship,” Mickelson said. “That means I’ve got to finish top, probably, 3, I’m guessing. I’m not really sure of the math. I’m certainly a long shot, I would say, but I’m starting to play well, and if I can put together three good rounds, you never know.”

Mickelson did acknowledge, for the first time, that he would accept a spot on the team as a vice captain if he wasn’t one of Steve Stricker’s six captain’s picks. He seemed reluctant to accept that would most likely be his fate, but he did share that he wants to be in Whistling Straits either way.

“I love being a part of the Ryder Cup in any way, shape or form, so of course,” Mickelson said when asked if he’d be a vice captain. “But I’m not thinking about that right now.”

Mickelson’s Ryder Cup record is decidedly mixed. He has been a member of three teams that won — 1999 in Brookline, 2008 in Valhalla and 2016 in Hazeltine — but also has been a part of nine that lost, some handily. He has gone 18-22-7 in 47 career matches, holding the record for the most matches played, but also has the record for the most losses.

On the other hand, only Arnold Palmer, Lanny Wadkins and Billy Casper have won more matches for the United States. Mickelson has gone 5-6-1 in singles matches.

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