NEW YORK: Phil Mickelson will maintain his record of being the only player in history to take part in all 12 Presidents Cups after being chosen as a captain’s pick by US skipper Steve Stricker on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila).
Mickelson, the 47-year-old five-time major winner, was selected alongside Charley Hoffman as Stricker completed his 12-man line-up for the September 28-October 1 Ryder Cup-style event at Liberty National in New Jersey.
International Team captain Nick Price meanwhile opted for Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo and India’s Anirban Lahiri for the event.
“He is so valuable in the team room and is a tremendous partner on the golf course,” Stricker said of Mickelson’s selection.
Mickelson’s Presidents Cup call-up will be his 23rd consecutive team appearance for the United States, a sequence which stretches back to 1994.
He has a record of 23-16-12 and will have the chance to surpass Tiger Woods’ record for most matches won in Presidents Cup history, which stands at 24-15-1.
Mickelson is hitting form at the right time, grabbing a share of sixth place at last week’s Dell Technologies Championship, his best finish in a stroke-play event this season.
Stricker also enthused about Hoffman, who just missed out selection as an automatic pick.
“Charley has played well all year and had a great summer. He’s shown a lot of fight and will be a great addition to our team,” Stricker said.
Price meanwhile said he had no hesitation in bringing in talented Argentine Grillo, one of four Presidents Cup rookies in his line-up.
Grillo, the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year in 2016, has posted two top-10 finishes this season as well as 11th place finishes at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions and The Players Championship.
“Emiliano has always been on our radar since earning the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year award last year,” said Price. “He’s an explosive player who can make a lot of birdies, and he’s proven he can win on Tour.”
Meanwhile Lahiri, 30, will return for his second Presidents Cup campaign — experience that Price said was instrumental in his selection, even though he finished six places off of the automatic qualifying spots.
“With Anirban at No. 16 in the standings, picking him may surprise some people, but my captain’s assistants and I felt like the team needed an additional player who has experienced Presidents Cup pressure before,” Price said.
The United States have enjoyed near-blanket dominance in the Presidents Cup over the years, losing the title only once — in 1998 — since it was first staged in 1994.