Phil Mickelson has been a part of every Ryder Cup since 1995. That streak will continue later this month at Whistling Straits. Just in a different capacity.
United States captain Steve Stricker announced overnight that Mickelson and Fred Couples have been added to the team as vice-captains.
“I’ve been staying in close contact with both Freddie and Phil, talking about all things Ryder Cup, for a while now,” said Captain Steve Stricker. “They provide honest and impactful feedback, and both have such a passion for the Ryder Cup. I’m honoured that they were willing to join our team and help put us in the best position to win in a few weeks at Whistling Straits.”
Mickelson has made 12 Ryder Cup appearances and played in 47 matches in his career, both team highs for the American side. After becoming the oldest Major championship winner in history with his triumph at the PGA Championship, Mickelson was very much in the running for a captain’s pick for the red, white and blue. But while Mickelson’s Wanamaker, coupled with his Ryder Cup experience, made him a viable candidate, his play declined after his Kiawah triumph, posting just one finish inside the top 60 in eight tour starts since the PGA. Mickelson acknowledged at last week’s BMW Championship that he would still love to be a part of the American club even if he couldn’t participate as a player.
As for Couples, his participation is not a surprise; Patrick Cantlay accidentally broke the news after his win at Caves Valley earlier this week. Couples played in five Ryder Cups in his career, and served as a vice-captain to Davis Love III at the 2012 matches. Mickelson and Couples join Davis Love III, Jim Furyk and Zach Johnson as Stricker’s vice-captains.