ATLANTA – In recent years Phil Mickelson has become a mentor for young Americans at both the Ryder and Presidents cup matches, including last year’s pairing with rookie Dustin Johnson in Wales and in 2009 at Harding Park with newcomer Anthony Kim.
So when Lefty set out with Keegan Bradley, 20th on the Presidents Cup points list and said to be among U.S. captain Fred Couples’ favorites for the final wild-card pick on Tuesday, for a practice round on Wednesday at East Lake it was an unmistakable endorsement of the rookie.
Although Mickelson was reluctant to “officially” endorse Bradley for the pick on Thursday, his confidence in the PGA champion was clear.
“There’s a few guys that (Couples) is looking at, so I don’t want to try to single out one guy, because as a player, you’ve got to support whatever the captain decides is best for the team,” Mickelson said. “But Keegan is a very solid player in all areas, and the thing about him that would be so deadly in match play is his ability on the green. He makes some 10- to 30-footers, and if he doesn’t, it looks like they’re going to go in, even if they don’t.”