Phil Mickelson is Presidents Cup’s Iron Man, having never missed a match

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Phil Mickelson is Presidents Cup’s Iron Man, having never missed a match

Phil Mickelson is Presidents Cup’s Iron Man, having never missed a match :- JERSEY CITY — Phil Mickelson needs a bigger golf bag.

Each of the red, white and blue U.S. golf bags for this week’s Presidents Cup has some added sparkle – patches of gold cups symbolizing each time a player has made the team for the biennial tussle against the Internationals.

Mickelson’s bag is running out of room.

“The reason I know this is Phil’s 12th Presidents Cup is because I saw 12 Cups on his golf bag earlier today. When you start to have a large decoration down there on the bottom of the belly of the bag, that’s pretty good,” Rickie Fowler said Tuesday at Liberty National Golf Club. “I remember when I had one little solo trophy. I was like, ‘Man, why is that thing so small?’ And then you see Phil’s and he’s got 12 lined up. Impressive.”

From the event’s debut in 1994, Mickelson has been as much a part of the Presidents Cup as the gold cup awarded the victor. He hasn’t missed one match and has been on a losing team only once. He’s played in a record 51 matches and gone 23-16-12. Only Tiger Woods, with 24, has more wins.

“Over the years you come to realize how you cherish these weeks,” the five-time major champion said. “After the major wins, these are the weeks that I look upon and look back on and remember and have moments, have memories, have experiences that you share with others that you just cherish for your career and your lifetime.

“It’s brought me close to Zach Johnson, when two years ago we played together. Same with Jim Furyk when we played down in Australia. Going through these matches and these emotions and sharing the experience of these team events really brings you closer and that lasts a lifetime. So when we see each other every week thereafter, you just have a different friendship, a different relationship.”

Different is how many of the players would describe Mickelson in the team room. Two years ago in South Korea he showed up in pajama bottoms adorned with U.S. flags. This week he’s been sporting sweat pants with one leg full of stars and the other leg with stripes.

He’s quick with a story, and quicker with the needle in the team room. Or as teammate Matt Kuchar once said, “I very much enjoy chatting with Phil … and hearing him.”

Mickelson is always up for a game of ping pong, always on the lookout for someone who might need a pick-me-up. He is a player’s coach, an invaluable intangible who helps as much in the team room as on the golf course.

“Phil is all in in the team events,” Fowler said. “He brings a lot of wisdom. He’s great with understanding what it’s like being on a team, the pairings, how guys can match up, how they’re performing out there, advice on how to play alternate shot, since a lot of guys haven’t played a lot of it.

“He’s definitely a guy that guys look to as well as all of our captains.”

This team was one of the toughest for Mickelson to make. For only the third time, he needed a captain’s pick to make the squad. It’s been a trying year for Mickelson, who hasn’t won since the 2013 British Open. He acknowledged after the PGA Championship that his mental focus and energy level had been inadequate much of the year. He met with a doctor who helped him with arthritis issues a few years ago and, without saying if he is taking any medication, said he’s feeling much better.

And that’s when his game perked up. While he didn’t qualify for last week’s Tour Championship, he spent quality time with his family and got in some quality time on the golf course. He said he’s sharp, focused, fresh and ready to go.

“Although I’ve played on a number of these teams, my excitement level to be on this team is every bit as great as any team I’ve played on,” Mickelson said. “To be able to play in the metropolitan area where the fans are so supportive and to do it on a golf course that I love, is just as meaningful.

Source :- https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/golf/2017/09/26/phil-mickelson-loves-u-s-team-golf-events/706451001/

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