Mickelson picked to be in Presidents Cup for 'intangibles'
INCHEON, SOUTH KOREA
IT HAS been a sub-par year by Phil Mickelson's own lofty standards, and some eyebrows were raised when he was selected for the Presidents Cup. But for United States skipper Jay Haas, the 45-year-old golfer's experience and "intangibles" were hard to overlook.
Haas sprang something of a surprise by using a captain's pick on Mickelson last month, who was 30th in the Presidents Cup standings and had been viewed by many as a long shot, after struggling for form for much of the past two years.
A captain's pick in the inaugural Presidents Cup in 1994, world No. 23 Mickelson had played his way onto every US team since, compiling a record of 20 wins, 16 losses and 11 matches halved.
Haas said at a news conference yesterday that the five-time Major winner brought so much more to the team than his performance on the course and said that had been a key factor in his decision to overlook higher-ranked players.
"I think Phil, the intangibles that he brought to the team maybe put him over the top," Haas said at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea where the matches will commence from tomorrow. "You could say... his play didn't warrant being a consideration and all that. But I don't know (if) you can put a value on what he means to the players and the demeanour he brings into the team room."
The US has dominated the Presidents Cup, winning eight times in 10 editions, while the International team's only success came in 1998 at Royal Melbourne in Australia.
The teams battled to a tie in South Africa in 2013.