If the people who continued the New York tradition of warmly and loudly toasting Phil Mickelson were voting, he would be a cinch to make the U.S. Presidents Cup team. Mickelson, though, knows he still has a way to go to earn a spot.
“I would love to be on the team but I’ve got to bring something to the table,” he said after a 2-over-par 72 in the opening round of the Northern Trust at Glen Oaks Club, extending a string of disappointing outings. “I’ve got to go shoot scores. If I can do that and add something to the team, I would love to be on it. If not, you know, the captain has got to do what is best for the team, so that’s totally cool, too.
Mickelson said he will be honest with captain Steve Stricker about the state of his game, heading into the U.S. vs. World team competition at Liberty National in Jersey City Sept. 28-Oct. 1. “If there are other players that bring more to the table and are playing better, then they need to be on it,” Mickelson said. “Because you can also look at it and say I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of a number of [U.S. teams], so it would be great for others to do that, too. But I’m not quite ready to pass that on yet. I want to be on the team.”
Rory McIlroy, having returned to the U.S. from Ireland after deciding during a week off against taking time off to heal his rib injury, shot 3-over-par 73 . . . Camillo Villegas is tied for third with Scott Brown and Chris Kirk at 4 under, having made eagle 2 on the 18th hole (his ninth hole of the day). He holed a 7-iron from 161 yards.