MEXICO CITY – Even in March, Phil Mickelson can’t avoid questions about the Ryder Cup.
After claiming his first PGA Tour title in more than four years at the WGC-Mexico Championship, Mickelson, who has played in every Ryder Cup since 1995, made no secret of the fact that his triumph over Justin Thomas in a playoff would go a long way to assure his 12th appearance in the biennial matches.
“I've made it known that one of my big goals is for me to be a part of a winning team in Europe. It hasn't happened in my career. It would mean a tremendous amount to me to have us succeed over on European soil,” said Mickelson, who jumped to No. 4 on the U.S. points list following his victory.
Many credit Mickelson for the dramatic changes to the Ryder Cup selection and leadership process that led to the U.S. victory two years ago at Hazeltine National because of the stand he took following the 2014 loss in Scotland.
Mickelson was part of two narrow defeats in Europe at the 1997 and 2010 matches, both one-point victories for the Continent.
“If we were able to break through and win, I think it would be a real special moment of my career that I would cherish forever,” he said. “But we've got a lot of work to do to get there, and I've got a lot of work to do to get on the team but I have a little less now.”