Phil Mickelson will play in his 12th consecutive Presidents Cup after being awarded a captain’s pick for the contest against the International Team in New Jersey later this month.
Mickelson finished 15th in the qualifying standings, which ended at last week’s Dell Technologies Championship, but the veteran left-hander has been added to the team by captain Steve Stricker along with Charley Hoffman.
Kevin Chappell, who holds the course record at Liberty National, scraped into the 10 automatic places when qualifying finished at TPC Boston, pipping Hoffman by just 0.073 points with his tie for 35th.
But Hoffman has been handed his debut in the competition, while Stricker is also convinced that Mickelson is worthy of a place after he produced his best result of the season in Boston, where he fired four sub-70 rounds to finish in a share of sixth place.
Mickelson, 47, has played in every Presidents Cup since the inaugural staging of the event in 1994 and is now set to compete in his 23rd consecutive team match for the USA having also played in the last 11 Ryder Cup contests.
“Phil is so valuable in the team room and is a tremendous partner on the golf course,” Stricker said. “As someone who has been on 22 straight teams, he’s a deserving pick, and he showed that with his strong play in Boston at the Dell Technologies Championship last week.
“I’ve had my eye on the 11th spot as it came down to a tight race between two very talented players. 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.”
Internationals captain Nick Price selected Argentine Emiliano Grillo, who finished 11th in the qualifying for his team, but he then sprung a mild surprise by picking Anirban Lahiri as he wanted more experience on his team.
Lahiri played in the last President Cup two years ago, and that gave him the edge over the four other players who finished above him in qualifying, with Hideto Tanihara, Yuta Ikeda, Li Haotong and Byeong Hun An the men to miss out.
“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.
“He made eight birdies in the final round at TPC Boston on Monday. He’s been on the cusp of qualifying for the International Team via the standings for the last few months, and at No 11, we feel his consistent performance over the past two years definitely warrants a pick.
“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.
“We have three rookies who qualified, plus Emiliano making his debut. Anirban’s experience in South Korea two years ago will be invaluable for him, and the International Team, at Liberty National this year.”