CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. – The last time a United States team competed for the Ryder Cup without Phil Mickelson – at the Belfrey in 1993 – Bryson DeChambeau was born eight days later.
On Tuesday night outside Philadelphia, 25 years later, Mickelson and DeChambeau were seated next to each other as two of Jim Furyk’s captain’s picks to play this year’s matches at Hazeltine.
Mickelson’s list of career accomplishments is too long to recount, but a couple holes remain on his Hall-of-Fame resume. Lefty still has time to complete the career Grand Slam, but the Ryder Cup won’t return to Europe until 2022, when he’ll be 52 years old.
“Certainly, this is most likely my last chance to go over to Europe and to be a part of a winning U.S. team in Europe. We haven't done that in 25 years,” he acknowledged. “I set out this year, on really, a strong commitment and journey to get on the team.”
Once Tiger Woods was brought onto the stage Tuesday night, he and Mickelson shared a hug. The two have certainly warmed to one another in recent years, bonding through U.S. team events. Their pay-per-view showdown is set for Nov. 23, but when asked about the potential of a Woods-Mickelson pairing in Paris, Phil punted.
“Well, my excitement to be on the Ryder Cup itself is at an all-time high because I know how much I cherish these events. I know how the relationships that get formed during these weeks, how much they mean, and I know how – as I look back on my career – how meaningful these team events are. So for me to be a part of it is something very special,” he non-answered.
“And to have Tiger back in the game of golf and playing at such a high, elite level, has been exciting for everybody, including the players. We find ourselves watching with interest, just like all the fans do.”