USA Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker could be facing one of the biggest decisions in the countdown to next month’s Ryder Cup, or does he?
The question is whether or not to pick a presently out-of-form Phil Mickelson as the now 51-year-old current PGA Champion goes in search of his 13th straight USA team cap? Mickelson has dropped to 18th place on the USA Team rankings following last Sunday’s share of 17th place at the WGC – FedEx St. Jude Invitational.
Mickelson has been a cornerstone of the USA Ryder Cup side since making his debut in 1995 at Oak Hill but with just two top-20s in his 16 PGA Tour events this year – one being his stunning victory at Kiawah Island – does he warrant a pick should he not qualify?
It’s probably a question we shouldn’t be asking as you’d think Stricker would be mad not to have someone of Mickleson’s enormous experience teeing-up at Whistling Straits. ‘Lefty’ is currently 58th on the FedEx Cup standings and has presently two and possible three events remaining on the 2020/21 schedule to contest in striving to break into the leading six who will earn automatic selection.
It’s a big ask given the events are next week’s Northern Trust, the BMW Championship and hopefully the September 2nd starting Tour Championship. No, Mickelson’s not competing this week at the Wyndham Championship. And in speaking with ESPN, Mickelson says his game is too inconsistent to be afforded one of Stricker’s six picks.
“I have three events to go this season and I haven’t had a top-10 outside of the PGA,” said Mickelson, clearly playing down his chances of selection. “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.”
If Mickelson’s form does not improve, does Stricker select Mickelson as one of his six ‘wildcard’ picks or not? I think we all know the answer to that question.