Captain Steve Stricker says Mickelson is back in the Ryder Cup mix after PGA Championship Triumph
Steve Stricker, U.S. Ryder Cup captain, is in Tulsa for this week’s KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club, and said Phil Mickelson’s victory the PGA Championship puts Mickelson back in the Ryder Cup mix. The U.S. team will play Europe at Whistling Straits in September. Mickelson has been on every U.S. team dating to 1995.
“You know, I've been thinking about what Phil did yesterday,” said Stricker, who tied for 44th at the PGA. “First of all, it's unbelievable what he did at 50 years of age, almost 51. I played with him on Monday last week. He struck it nicely."
“Now, him climbing from 52nd (in the Ryder Cup standings), I think he was, all the way up to 16, there was a reason why he was 52nd, right? He wasn't playing all that great. Well, now there's a reason why he's 16, because he had one great tournament."
“But now I need to see what he's going to do from this point forward. We still have a lot of play left. I'm rooting for him. He's a great team player. He's great in the locker rooms. He's a great partner. So I'd love to see him continue what he did this last week and keep climbing that point list, because I think he's a huge benefit for our team.”
Added Jim Furyk, the 2018 U.S. captain who will serve as an assistant to Stricker, “Yeah, it gets him on the radar, right? … The golf courses (Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course and Whistling Straits) have some similarities. Both Pete Dye designs, both courses that you're going to see quite a bit of wind. They're not golf courses you play on the ground. You're not hitting bump-and-run shots and running 5-iron shots up on a green like a British Open; they're both aerial attack style golf courses and target-oriented like you would expect a Pete Dye."
“Obviously I'm sure it's on his (Phil’s) list of goals. I guess the really nice thing about being a vice captain is that I can give my feedback and my opinion, but I don't make those decisions.”