Two Phil Mickelson streaks are in danger of ending this fall.
The first is his run of more than 25 consecutive years inside the top 50 in the world ranking; currently ranked 47th, Mickelson faces the possibility, for the first time, that he could drop outside the top 50 following this week’s CJ Cup in Korea.
Months of poor play have also imperiled another incredible streak: His 24 consecutive team competitions.
Mickelson essentially conceded Wednesday that he won’t – and shouldn’t – be picked by Presidents Cup captain Tiger Woods for the December matches at Royal Melbourne.
“There are much better options of players that have played consistently at a high level that deserve to be on the team,” Mickelson told reporters at the CJ Cup. “Even if I were to win, I have not done enough to warrant a pick.
“I’m not asking for one. I don’t expect one. I think there a lot of better options for the U.S. side.”
Mickelson hasn’t finished better than 48th since the Masters. He has said on multiple occasions that this is the worst stretch of his career, but he’s attempted to regain his form by dropping nearly 30 pounds – he’s now close to his college weight – and focusing his practice on quality over quantity.
Mickelson’s concession should make things easier for Woods, his longtime rival who will captain a U.S. squad for the first time. There is no shortage of potential wildcard picks, including Woods himself, Tony Finau, Rickie Fowler, Gary Woodland, Kevin Na, Collin Morikawa and Matthew Wolff. It’s also conceivable that Mickelson could make the trip to Australia – but as one of Woods’ vice captains.
Though he might not crack the Presidents Cup roster, Mickelson hasn’t given up hope of playing his way onto the Ryder Cup team in 2020. He’ll be 50 years old when the U.S. side looks to win back the cup at Whistling Straits.
“I would like to add that I am starting to play much better golf, and I’m excited about the upcoming season,” Mickelson said. “I’m excited about making the Ryder Cup team next year, and I plan on doing that.”