'Players' pick' Mickelson keeping U.S. team loose


INCHEON, South Korea – At 30th on the U.S. Presidents Cup point list some considered Jay Haas’ decision to select Phil Mickelson as one of his captain’s picks a bit of a stretch despite the veteran’s history in the biennial matches.

But after two days at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea it’s become clear what having Lefty in the team room means to Haas and the team.

“Phil has been great already in the team room. He's been Phil, and he asks, ‘What do you want me to do?’” Haas said on Tuesday. “I said, ‘I want you to be you.’ I think that's one of the main reasons we picked him is to lift the players’ spirits, to keep them loose.”

Some have suggested that Mickelson, who has played in every Presidents Cup since the event began in 1994 and has a 20-16-11 record, was less of a captain’s pick for this year’s matches than he was a players' pick, because of the support he received from this year’s team.

“That meant more to me than anything and I'm appreciative of the chance to have felt how that feels to be wanted by the other players, and it was very emotional for me when I found out,” Mickelson said. “It makes me just want to play hard and do anything I can to help us succeed.”