NORTON: Phil Mickelson believes this month’s Ryder Cup could be the most special of his career if he is handed a 12th cap by USA captain Jim Furyk on Tuesday.
Mickelson boosted his goal of competing in France later this month after posting closing rounds of 67 and 63 for an eventual 10-under-par total at the PGA Dell Technologies Championship on Monday.
The 48-year-old’s closing 63 could not have come at a better time for Mickelson, with Furyk set to announce three of his four captain’s picks on Tuesday.
Mickelson is widely expected to earn one of the available slots and is eager for the chance of ending the USA’s 25-year wait to claim a Ryder Cup on European soil.
“This one has an opportunity to be my favourite and most special,” Mickelson said Tuesday.
“We’ve never won over there. I feel like we have the team. I feel like we have the leadership and we have the direction. We have the game plan that will allow us to play our best.
“If I’d be lucky enough to get on the team and go over there and be part of a winning team it would probably be my most memorable one.”
Mickelson made his Ryder Cup debut in 1995 and has competed in the event ever since, teeing-up in 45 matches.
He enjoys a record of 18 wins, 20 losses and seven half-points.
In contrast, it is Spain’s Rafa Cabrera-Bello who faces an anxious few days before knowing if he will earn a second straight European Team cap.
Cabrera-Bello had thought of travelling to Denmark last week to boost his chances of qualifying via the final selection event on the European Tour but instead remained in the States to compete in Boston.
The Dubai-based Spaniard went close to a first PGA Tour victory when he moved into a share of the lead with a fourth birdie in succession at the 11th hole to be six-under for his last round.
However, Cabrera-Bello dropped three shots over his closing six holes in a round of 68 to eventually share seventh place at 11-under par.
“I’ve done everything I can,” he said. “I love Ryder Cup. It would be a huge honour to represent my continent again. And I would be 100% availability if he needs me. I do understand it’s a difficult pick because there are lots of good players outside.
“But I feel like even in my best chance, if he was trying to see if I was in form or not, I think this week proves that I am.”
Europea Team captain, Thomas Bjorn will announce all four captain’s picks on Wednesday.