Heading into the year's final major, the American left-hander had
been one spot outside the automatic top-nine selections for Tom
Watson's team to take on holders Europe in Gleneagles, Scotland from
The PGA Championship was the final qualifying event and Mickelson
climbed from 10th to fifth place in the U.S. point standings by
finishing second at Valhalla Golf Club, one stroke behind winner
Mickelson had said at the start of the week how important it was for
him to qualify for Watson's team on merit, rather than have to rely
on being one of three wildcard picks.
"I'm confident that I'll get on the team on my own and won't require
that pick," the Californian said on the eve of the tournament.
"I want to keep that streak going of two decades that I have. I want
to keep that going of making the team on my own and not needing a
Mickelson has played in every Ryder Cup since he made his debut for
the United States in 1995, competing on winning teams in 1999, at
Brookline, and in 2008, at Valhalla.
The other automatic qualifiers for the team were Masters champion
Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk, Jimmy Walker, Matt Kuchar,
Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed and Zach Johnson.
The man dropping out of the automatic spots was Jason Dufner, who
withdrew from Valhalla during the opening round.
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Dufner has been hampered by two bulging disks in his neck and is expected
to be miss the rest of the season having been advised by doctors to take
a break from the game for six-to-eight weeks.
The Americans are already without long-hitting Dustin Johnson, who has
taken an indefinite leave of absence to deal with "personal challenges",
and there are concerns over world number six Kuchar, who withdrew before
the start of the PGA Championship due to back spasms.
Captain Watson will announce his three wildcard picks on Sept. 2, the
day after the PGA Tour's Deutsche Bank Championship finishes in Norton,
(Editing by Peter Rutherford)
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