NORTON, Mass. – Phil Mickelson won’t make the U.S. Presidents Cup team on points, but he would still relish making the team as a captain’s pick.
With a 1-under-par 70 Friday in the opening round of the Deutsche Bank Championship, he got off to a solid start in his last chance to make an impression before Jay Haas makes his two selections on Tuesday.
In tough, windy conditions, Mickelson put together a round of three birdies and two bogeys and moved three shots behind the early leaders.
“I’ve got to get it going, but it was an OK start,” Mickelson said.
Mickelson won the Deutsche Bank Championship in 2007.
“It was the most challenging I've seen this golf course play, especially given that the greens were very receptive,” Mickelson said. “The wind made it play very difficult and there were some challenging pin positions.”
Mickelson has made 20 consecutive American Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup teams. This marks the first time in his professional career that he won’t qualify for a team on points. He’s 29th on the U.S. points list with the top 10 automatically qualifying. He can’t crack the top 10, even with a victory.
“I would love to be on the team,” Mickelson told the Associated Press earlier this week. “If I can play well this week, hopefully I’ll have a chance to be a pick. And if I do, then I’ll keep playing to try to stay sharp. If I don’t play well this week, and I’m not a pick, then I’m not sure what I’ll do hereafter.”