Belfast Telegraph

Phil Mickelson has kept impressive Ryder Cup record

By Staff Reporter

Phil Mickelson narrowly failed to claim a sixth major title in the US PGA Championship, but his second place behind Rory McIlroy kept alive a proud Ryder Cup record. Mickelson had qualified automatically for each of his record nine previous Ryder Cup appearances and extended that impressive streak after pushing McIlroy all the way at Valhalla.

The 44-year-old moved from 10th in the standings to fifth and joins Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk, Jimmy Walker, Matt Kuchar, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed and Zach Johnson on Tom Watson's team for Gleneagles.

Watson will add three wild cards on September 2 and could face some tough decisions, with Kuchar withdrawing before the start of the US PGA with back spasms and Tiger Woods missing the cut at Valhalla in just his fourth tournament since back surgery in March.

Woods has not qualified for the upcoming FedEx Cup play-offs and could therefore be out of action for the six weeks leading up to the Ryder Cup, although 2008 winning captain Paul Azinger feels the former world number one should not be picked anyway on current form and fitness.

Jason Dufner dropped out of the automatic qualifying positions after being forced to pull out after just 10 holes of his US PGA title defence and said he would not play again until completely healthy.

Watson believes Kuchar's problem is minor but added: "I feel sorry for Jason Dufner. I saw him on Friday and he didn't look good. I've had neck injuries and it's taken a long time to recover. I hope that's not the case with Jason."

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