Mickelson, 49, has represented the United States in every team competition since the inaugural Presidents Cup in 1994. That streak appears to be nearing its conclusion. Mickelson finished 16th in the United States’ points standings. The top eight after the BMW Championship earned automatic spots on the team.
Mickelson is playing in South Korea for the first time since the United States’ win at the 2015 Presidents Cup, where he went 3-0-1. Mickelson has never competed on The Club at Nine Bridges, but he’s enjoyed what he’s seen. He played a practice round with Kevin Na to learn more about the course.
“What I like is there is plenty of room off the tee for me to play,” Mickelson said. “(The greens) are huge but with a lot of undulation. … Iron play, which is my strength, is very important.”
Mickelson is making his third start of the season. He missed the cut at the Safeway Open and finished 61st at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. His season debut was marred by a quadruple-bogey 9 on his fifth hole. He missed the cut by two after shooting a second-round 69. Mickelson opened the Shriners with a first-round 65, but was just 3 under in the remaining three rounds.
He finished 47th in last season’s FedExCup, marking the fourth time in the last six seasons that he missed the TOUR Championship. It was his worst FedExCup showing since 2015.
Mickelson started the calendar year with a first-round 60 at the Desert Classic. He finished second to Adam Long, then won two starts later at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Mickelson has had just one top-25 finish since, though.
Mickelson, ever the optimist, still feels like he can play well in 2020. He turns 50 in June.
“I am starting to play much better and I’m excited about this upcoming season,” he said.