Phil Mickelson’s unmatched Presidents Cup streak will continue after he received a Captain’s Pick to compete in this year’s Presidents Cup.
Mickelson, the only player to compete in every edition of the match between the U.S. and International teams, finished 30th in the U.S. standings after going winless for a second consecutive season. U.S. Team members and coaches were “adamant” that Mickelson should be selected with one of Captain Jay Haas’ two picks, though.
“If anyone deserves a pick, it’s Phil Mickelson,” Haas said. “He is without question the leader of our team in the team room, on the golf course. I think the guys trust him 100 percent. The guys on the team were adamant that Phil is the guy, and I think between the captains and team members, Phil was an overwhelming choice to be a pick.”
Haas’ son Bill was the other U.S. pick, while International Team Captain Nick Price rounded out his roster with Presidents Cup rookies Sangmoon Bae and Steven Bowditch. Bae was born in South Korea, which will host this year’s Presidents Cup, the first to be conducted in Asia, on Oct. 8-11 at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club.
Bill Haas and Bowditch both finished 11th on their team’s respective points list. The top 10 after Monday’s Deutsche Bank Championship earned automatic roster spots.
Bill Haas said he had trouble sleeping last night as he waited to learn his Presidents Cup fate Tuesday. He also admitted he had trouble controlling his thoughts about the Presidents Cup as he stepped to the first tee of recent tournaments. “Being honest with myself and everyone else, it was definitely a challenge,” Bill Haas said. He did finish sixth at last month’s Quicken Loans National and sixth two weeks ago at the Wyndham Championship.
Haas, the 2011 FedExCup champion, has played in each of the past two Presidents Cup, amassing a 3-5-2 record.
“I really, really wanted to be on this team, as I have in the past, but also to be in that team room with my dad as the captain. I don’t think it’s something that we, especially I, will ever, ever forget,” Bill Haas said.
Bae also should have a memorable Presidents Cup, as he will play in front of the home fans. He will represent his country in the Presidents Cup before serving it in the military. Bae and Danny Lee give the International Team two Korean-born players.
Bae is expected to begin his mandatory military service shortly after he competes for the International Team. Bae, a two-time PGA Tour winner, hasn’t played a Presidents Cup, but has won twice at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea.
“He obviously feels very comfortable on the golf course,” Price said. Bae won the first event of this PGA TOUR season, the Frys.com Open, in October and finished in the top six in three of his first four starts. He struggled this summer until finishing T6 at The Barclays, the first event of the FedExCup Playoffs, though.
Mickelson is the most-experienced player in Presidents Cup history. He will be making his 11th Presidents Cup appearance, has a 20-16-11 career record.
“I am so honored to be on this team,” said Mickelson, who was runner-up at this year’s Masters. “I’m so happy to have an opportunity to play for (Jay Haas). And to have it come from input from so many players and assisting captains wanting me to be on the team means a lot to me that — I couldn’t put it into words. It’s just a very special honor to be on the team.”
Bowditch, who won this year’s AT&T Byron Nelson, missed an automatic spot on the International Team by just .0098 points in the Official World Golf Ranking. Danny Lee edged him for the final spot with just a shot to spare at the Deutsche Bank Championship. Bowditch could have clinched his spot at the Deutsche Bank Championship, but missed the cut. He nervously awaited Price’s phone call.
“I guess I’ve always wondered what the feeling was with the guys in the draft, waiting for the draft pick and I guess now I know,” Bowditch said about waiting to learn he was a Captain’s Pick. “It’s an unsettling feeling when you’ve got no control.”
He doesn’t have to worry any longer. The wait is over and the Presidents Cup rosters are complete.