Phil Mickelson: PGA Championship Win Alone Doesn't Warrant US Ryder Cup Selection

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVMay 26, 2021

KIAWAH ISLAND, SC - MAY 23:  Phil Mickelson smiles with  the Wanamaker Trophy after his two stroke victory in the final round of the PGA Championship on The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort on May 23, 2021, in Kiawah Island, South Carolina. (Photo by Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)
Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR via Getty Images

Phil Mickelson isn't looking to parachute in on the United States Ryder Cup team based largely on his victory in the PGA Championship.

"If I'm the captain, I'm not going to want a guy that plays well one week in an entire year," Mickelson said of potentially playing in the event. "And so just because I played really well last week and won a big championship, that does not warrant a spot on the team by any means."

The 50-year-old indicated he'd be willing to join the U.S. squad if he thought he had earned the right.

The World Golf Hall of Famer was an unexpected winner at Kiawah Island Golf Resort not just because he became the oldest major champion in history, but also because he simply hasn't played well in 2021.

Immediately preceding the PGA Championship, Mickelson had finished 69th in the Wells Fargo Championship and missed the cut in the Valspar Championship. The PGA Championship was his first top-10 finish in 14 PGA Tour events.

According to the Tour's official site, he ranks 169th in scoring average (71.854), 199th in driving accuracy (51.36 percent) and 123rd in greens in regulation (64.47 percent).

Because of last week's result, Mickelson moved 36 spots up to 16th in the standings for the U.S. Ryder Cup team, with the top six golfers automatically qualifying. With 6,575.57 points, the San Diego native trails sixth-place Xander Schauffele by 4,715.62 points.

Mickelson has competed in 12 Ryder Cups, a biennial competition between the U.S. and Europe, and he's one of the greatest golfers of his generation. Especially in a team event, experience can go a long way toward finding the right balance between talent and personalities.

But the pre-PGA Championship version of Mickelson wasn't somebody you'd expect to see at Whistling Straits in September. Perhaps he turned a meaningful corner at Kiawah.