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Phil Mickelson picked for Presidents Cup team

Phil Mickelson's streak dating to 1994 will remain intact after Steve Stricker picked him on Wednesday to be a member of the Presidents Cup team that will take on an International squad later this month.

Mickelson, 47, a five-time major winner and Hall of Famer, was tabbed by U.S. captain Stricker as one of his two at-large selections -- along with Charley Hoffman -- to complete on the 12-man team.

Phil Mickelson went 3-0-1 during the 2015 Presidents Cup. Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images
International team captain Nick Price filled out his squad by naming Argentina's Emiliano Grillo and India's Anirban Lahiri to a team that has defeated the United States just once since the competition began in 1994.

That was the first time Mickelson competed for the United States in one of the annual team events, and Lefty has never missed since, last year going 2-1-1 for the Americans in the Ryder Cup, including a single match tie against Sergio Garcia.

This is just the third time he has needed a captain's pick, the previous two (1994, 2015) also for the President's Cup. It will be his 23rd U.S. team, 12th for the Presidents Cup.

"Personally, I can say he means a lot,'' said Stricker, who has played on several Cup teams with Mickelson. "He's played 20-some of these cup teams. He struggled a bit toward the end of the year but finally showed his desire to get on the team. He's been working hard; he said it was a matter of time. And he had a great showing last week.

"I got reports from other players that he was the Phil of old. He played great. Obviously his positive attitude, he brings that to every team he plays on. Guys rally behind him. We're extremely excited to have Phil and Charley on the team.''

Hoffman, 40, is playing in his first Presidents Cup or Ryder Cup after narrowly missing out on the final qualifying spot on Sunday, when he was passed by Kevin Chappell.

The four-day competition is Sept. 28-Oct. 1 at Liberty National outside of New York City.

Price, who was the losing International captain in both 2013 and 2015, went with Grillo, who moved into the 11th position on Sunday, and Lahiri, who was 16th in the standings but got the spot because of his familiarity with the PGA Tour.

Japan's Hideto Tanihara was 12th in on International list, which goes off the world ranking, but he had missed the cut in all three majors he played this year.

"We felt we wanted some players who played the U.S. tour the whole time,'' Price said. "There is a certain amount of comfort playing here.''

Lahiri also competed in the last Presidents Cup, a narrow 15½-14½ U.S. victory. The International team's lone victory in the competition came in 1998. The sides tied in 2003.

Mickelson, who has 23-16-12 record at the Presidents Cup and has won more points than any other player, finished 15th in the final points standings after a tie for sixth on Sunday at the Dell Technologies Championship.

After a lackluster summer, including missed cuts at The Open and the PGA Championship, Mickelson's status was in doubt, even with all his experience and back-room influence. A member of the U.S. Ryder Cup Committee along with Tiger Woods, Mickelson is viewed as a team leader and a major voice on future teams.

Stricker seemingly just wanted some show of form to make the pick. It didn't hurt that the competition will be played just outside of New York, where he is a big fan favorite.

"People will rally behind him no matter where he's at,'' Stricker said. "But he's like a favorite son there.''

Author: Bob Harig, ESPN
Source: http://www.espn.com/golf/story/_/id/20608617/phil-mickelson-picked-presidents-cup-team

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