Would Phil Mickelson Be The Oldest Ever Ryder Cup Player?

If Phil was to make the team for Whistling Straits, would he be the oldest ever Ryder Cup player?

Would Phil Mickelson Be The Oldest Ever Ryder Cup Player
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If PGA champion Phil Mickelson were to make Steve Stricker’s team for Whistling Straits, would he be the oldest ever Ryder Cup player?

Would Phil Mickelson Be The Oldest Ever Ryder Cup Player?

PGA Champion Phil Mickelson will be 51 years and 100 days old on 24th September this year, when the first matches of the delayed 2020 Ryder Cup are scheduled to take place.

If Mickelson, now the oldest ever winner of a men's Major, were to make it into Steve Stricker’s USA team, he would indeed become the oldest player ever to tee it up in the great team event. He would be the oldest ever Ryder Cup player.

The current record for oldest player to compete in a Ryder Cup belongs to Raymond Floyd.

Floyd was 51 years and 20 days when he appeared as one of Tom Watson’s captain’s picks in the 1993 Ryder Cup matches contested at The Belfry.

In that event, eventually won by the USA by 15-13, Floyd partnered Payne Stewart to victory in consecutive matches on day two then beat Jose Maria Olazabal in the singles.

The veteran was the USA’s joint top points scorer in the event.

Jay Haas was 50 years and 290 days old when he played in the 2004 Ryder Cup at Oakland Hills.

After his incredible victory in the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, Phil Mickelson has climbed 36 places to 16th on the American Ryder Cup rankings.

With six captain’s picks available, Mickelson has put himself right back into the mix for possible selection.

Mickelson has already played in a record 12 Ryder Cups. He hasn’t missed one since his debut in 1995.

If he were to play at Whistling Straits, it would make it an incredible 13 consecutive appearances for “Lefty.”

Phil’s Ryder Cup record is 18-22-7 in the 47 Ryder Cup matches he’s played.

In the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National, Paris, Mickelson played just two matches and was beaten heavily in both.

Steve Stricker said on the Saturday of the PGA that Mickelson would need to continue to play good golf, even if he secured the win at Kiawah Island to be in line for selection, but he certainly didn’t discount the possibility of extending Mickelson a captain’s pick.

Winning a Major doesn’t always mean an automatic Ryder Cup selection though.

John Daly won the 1991 USPGA and then the 1995 Open Championship but wasn’t selected for the US side in either year.

Ted Ray was the oldest player ever to have competed for either Europe or GB/GB&I.

He was aged 50 years and 67 days when he took part in the first official Ryder Cup held at the Worcester Golf Club in Massachusetts in 1927.

The youngest ever Ryder Cup player is Sergio Garcia who was 19 years and 258 days when the 1999 Ryder Cup was contested at Brookline.

Horton Smith is the youngest from the USA ever to take part.

He was 20 years and 339 days at the time of the 1929 Ryder Cup held at Moortown GC in Leeds.

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin (also of Golf Monthly)... Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?