Phil Mickelson will continue his Ryder Cup legacy as part of the captaincy crew after being formally named as a Vice Captain for Steve Stricker’s U.S. Team for the 2021 Ryder Cup later this month at Whistling Straits.
Stricker named Mickelson, a veteran of all 12 Ryder Cups since 1995, along with Fred Couples, as Vice Captains to join the previously announced Davis Love III, Jim Furyk and Zach Johnson to join his squad for the Sept. 21-26 contest against Europe in Wisconsin.
“I’ve been staying in close contact with both Freddie and Phil, talking about all things Ryder Cup, for a while now,” Stricker said via statement. “They provide honest and impactful feedback, and both have such a passion for the Ryder Cup. I’m honored that they were willing to join our Team and help put us in the best position to win in a few weeks at Whistling Straits.”
Mickelson had been fighting for a place as a player in the team after becoming the oldest winner of a major at the PGA Championship in May but sits 20th on the points list and failed to qualify for the TOUR Championship, the last tournament before Stricker adds his six captains picks to his six automatic qualifiers.
“I’m humbled and honored to be a part of this year’s Ryder Cup as an assistant captain. Thank you Captain Stricker for including me and I hope to help in an way possible. GoUSA,” Mickelson tweeted in response to the news.
His playing record will now seemingly end at 18-22-7 in Ryder Cups, with his 47 matches a record for the U.S. Team. He also holds the U.S. record for most fourball points won with nine and most Ryder Cups with 12.
Collin Morikawa, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas and Patrick Cantlay were locked in as qualifiers last Sunday night as the top six. Those next in line vying for the last six positions decided by Stricker next Wednesday include Tony Finau, Xander Schauffele, Jordan Spieth, Harris English, Patrick Reed, Daniel Berger, Webb Simpson, Scottie Scheffler, Jason Kokrak, Sam Burns, Billy Horschel and Kevin Kisner.
While it is Mickelson’s first foray into the captaincy squad, Couples has experience having been a Ryder Cup Vice Captain in 2012 alongside Love III. Couples was a victorious U.S. Team Presidents Cup captain in 2009, 2011 and 2013 and a captain’s assistant in 2015, 2017 and 2019.
Couples also played in the 1989, 1991, 1993, 1995 and 1997 Ryder Cups.