Phil Mickelson Explains Why He’s Unwilling to Participate in 13th Straight Ryder Cup

Published 08/09/2021, 12:30 PM EDT
Golf – The Masters – Augusta National Golf Club – Augusta, Georgia, U.S. – April 11, 2021 Phil Mickelson of the U.S. reacts after missing a birdie putt on the 2nd hole during the final round REUTERS/Mike Segar


The Ryder Cup is just a month away, and the excitement is increasing with each passing day. Moreover, if you’re an American and you win a major championship the same year as the Ryder Cup, then you don’t need to sweat it out to make it to the U.S. team. If somehow you fail to qualify on points, the captain will surely pick you up in the lineup. However, it looks like Phil Mickelson could challenge this theory. 

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Phil Mickelson won the PGA Championship in May and became the oldest player to win a major in golf. It was one of the biggest golf stories of this year. But this win is the only top-10 finish Phil has in the last 12 months. Since the victory, lefty has missed two cuts in five events, and his best finish was T61. 

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However, this week at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational was a bit of an improvement. Mickelson finished -7 for the tournament and secured a Top 20 finish. But it’s not going to help him in the Ryder Cup points race. Coming into this event, Mickelson was 17th in the standings, with only the top six players qualifying.  

So, unless Phil Mickelson wins an event before the qualifications close at the BMW Championship, it’s difficult for him to qualify based on points. However, he can still get an entry into the team if team captain Steve Sticker is generous with his approach. If selected, Mickelson will make his 13th straight Ryder Cup appearance, but he is not too confident about his game. So taking him into the team is a risky decision. 

“You can’t take somebody that is that inconsistent,” says Phil Mickelson

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Jun 19, 2021; San Diego, California, USA; Phil Mickelson looks over the 5th green during the third round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines Golf Course. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s what Mickelson told ESPN on Saturday after his third round at WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational: “I haven’t had a top-10 outside of the PGA. You can’t take somebody that is that inconsistent. I have three events, here and the two playoff events. And if I finish high in those events and move up on the list, you never know. But you have to have a little bit more consistency and momentum I think.”

While the qualifying period ends after the BMW Championship, Stricker, the team U.S. captain, doesn’t make his six captain’s pick until a week after the conclusion of the Tour Championship. But Mickelson is 58th in the FedEx Cup standings, and he has to work hard to get into the Tour Championship and provide Stricker the justification to pick him.

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“I need a couple of good finishes, and then it would be easy to justify. But I think, with no top-10s it would be tough to justify.”

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Amey Kulkarni

287 articles

Amey Kulkarni is a Golf writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in mass media. Before joining EssentiallySports he used to write articles on Golf and Cricket on his personal blog cricgolf.

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