Golf

Phil Mickelson tells Tiger to pick Tiger for Presidents Cup

Phil Mickelson said yesterday that Team United States captain Tiger Woods should pick himself to play in this year's Presidents Cup, believing it is wrong that two of 2019's Major winners are not automatic selections.

Woods won his 15th Major at the Masters and Gary Woodland clinched the US Open, but neither qualified automatically in the top eight point-scorers for December's team matchplay showdown against Team International in Melbourne.

"Those two players should be automatic picks," Mickelson firmly told AFP at the CJ Cup in Jeju, South Korea.

"If somebody else were the captain, 100 per cent he would pick Tiger.

"The only reason that it's a question is because it's weird to pick yourself, but he's ninth in the world and he won the Masters. He should be on the team."

Mickelson has an unmatched record in team events, playing in 24 consecutive Ryder or Presidents Cups since 1994.

But the five-time Major winner is resigned to missing out, saying his form this year has not been good enough.

"I have not played well in the last seven, eight months," said the slimmed-down 49-year-old, who has embarked on a fitness and diet regimen in an effort to get back to his best.

"Even if I were to win (this week), I have not done enough to warrant a pick. I'm not asking for one, I don't expect one."

Woods, 43, is returning from arthroscopic surgery at the inaugural Zozo Championship in Japan next week and his fitness will probably decide if he follows the advice of his long-standing rival.

Mickelson is revelling in his fitter physique and has set himself the target of making the US Ryder Cup team at Whistling Straights at the age of 50. - AFP

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