ATLANTA – Phil Mickelson goes to the Ryder Cup, but not as a player.
American captain Steve Stricker Mickelson named one of his vice-captains on Wednesday – along with Fred Couples -for the matches that will take place on September 24-26 at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin.
Mickelson, 51, will not be a member of the U.S. play team for the first time since 1995. He played in 12 consecutive Ryder Cups.
He won the PGA Championship in May for his sixth major title and 45th PGA Tour tournament, becoming the oldest player in history to win a major championship. But it was his only top-10 finish this year, and he does not qualify for this week’s touring championship.
“I’ve been in close contact with Freddie and Phil for a while, and I’ve been talking about everything about the Ryder Cup for a while,” Stricker said. ‘They give honest and striking feedback, and both have a passion for the Ryder Cup. I am honored that they were willing to join our team and put us in the best position in Whistling Straits in a few weeks to win. “
Mickelson played in a record 47 games for the United States, with a record of 18-22-7.
Couples played in five Ryder Cups (7-9-4) and was an assistant to Love in 2012. He was also captain of the U.S. Presidential Cup in 2009, 2011 and 2013 and has won all three. He assisted Woods, the U.S. captain at the 2019 Presidential Cup.
Stricker has said on several occasions earlier this year that he hopes Woods can be part of the team and that he has consulted with him regularly, although it is unclear whether he has been officially asked to be a vice-captain.
Woods has yet to play this year after a serious car crash in February.