Phil Mickelson Gets Presidents Cup Captain's Nod

By Dan Bier
Thursday September 7th, 2017 7:00 am EDT




 

The captains’ picks are in and the Presidents Cup teams are set. On Wednesday, captains Steve Stricker and Nick Price made their final two selections to round out their teams of 12, which will square off at Liberty National at the end of September.

On the U.S. side, Stricker went with a pair of 40-plus-year-olds in Phil Mickelson and Charley Hoffman. 

“Phil brings a wealth of experience to the team. He means a lot to us as a team,” Stricker said according to Golf Channel. “He’ll be ready. He’s shown that over the years. He seems to raise his game to another level for these team competitions.”

This will be Mickelson’s unprecedented 23rd consecutive team event, and his second by way of captain’s pick, with the other being at the 2015 Presidents Cup in South Korea. The rejuvenated 47-year-old is coming off of his best finish in six months last week at the Dell Technologies Championship. 

“It means a lot to me,” Mickelson said in a phone interview. “What means a lot to me this year is that the captains and the players wanted me on the team even though I didn’t get the spot on my own. It meant a lot that they wanted me there, because I really love being around these guys.”

On the total other end of the spectrum, Charley Hoffman, 40, will be making his first appearance on any U.S. team. The 22nd-ranked player in the world posted four top-3 finishes this year as well as contended at Augusta.

“Charley gets along with all these players, plays a lot of practice rounds with them, and he’s an easy guy to be around and he’s got a lot of talent,” Stricker said. “His age is going to help us, having a lot of Tour experience under his belt. It’s just another calming influence in our team room.”

 

The International squad, who is trying to beat the U.S. for the first time since 1998, went with 24-year-old Argentine Emilliano Grillo, who has been on Captain Price’s “radar for the last year and this year.”

Price also went with 30-year-old Anirban Lahiri from India, which raised a few eyebrows as he was 16th on the overall points list and doesn’t have a top-25 in his last seven starts, but experience seemed to prevail.

“He brings a lot to the team room,” Price said. “He’s got a very positive personality. There were many reasons, but the big reason for us is he plays full time on the U.S. tour.”

The Presidents Cup is scheduled to be played September 28-October 1 under the watchful eye of Lady Liberty in Jersey City, New Jersey. 

[Golf Channel]

 

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