Phil Mickelson wants to make Ryder Cup team but 'of course' would accept assistant role

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Phil Mickelson’s goal is to make the U.S. Ryder Cup team as a player, but he acknowledged Thursday, for the first time publicly, that “of course” he would accept an assistant-captain role if asked.

An opening 4-under 68 at the BMW Championship left Mickelson work to do if he wants to qualify for the season-ending Tour Championship and make one final impression for Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker. Mickelson, 51, admitted that he’s a “long shot” to be a part of the team, saying that he hasn’t backed up the form that saw him become the oldest major champion in history earlier this year at the PGA Championship.

But when asked Thursday whether he would accept an assistant role, Mickelson said: “I love being a part of the Ryder Cup in any way, shape or form, so of course. But I’m not thinking about that right now.”

Mickelson has played on every U.S. Ryder Cup team since 1995, with mixed results, going 18-22-7. He is currently 19th in the U.S. points standings and has just a single top-20 finish outside of his surprising PGA victory.

Mickelson’s streak of teams made ended at the 2019 Presidents Cup, when then-captain Tiger Woods opted to leave Lefty off the squad.

Stricker has named three assistants for next month’s matches at Whistling Straits – Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson and Davis Love III – and will likely add at least one more vice captain to the mix. His counterpart, Padraig Harrington, has already announced four assistants.

Stricker said a few months ago he’d been in touch with Woods about being an assistant, but that he didn’t know whether Woods, who was injured in a car crash in February, would be far enough along in his recovery to help out.