Something went wrong!
Please try again later.
Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, golf’s most prominent players for more than two decades, never realized the Ryder Cup would mean so much.
For Woods, it’s the culmination of a comeback that began in January after a fourth surgery on his lower back. For Mickelson, more than setting a record by playing his 12th Ryder Cup, the 48-year-old gets what he believes will be his last chance to capture that gold trophy away from home.
U.S. captain Jim Furyk added them to his team Monday evening as wild-card selections, along with Bryson DeChambeau.
Woods agreed to be a vice-captain in late February, and he set a goal to be in Paris on Sept. 28-30 as a player. “It’s incredible, it really is, to look back at the start of the year and now to have accomplished a goal like that,” Woods said. “To be a part of this team, and now to be a player is just … beyond special.”
Mickelson had qualified for every team since 1995, a streak that ended this year when he finished No. 10 in the standings. His 12th appearance breaks the Ryder Cup record held by Nick Faldo.
At the time, Woods, 42, was ranked 656th in the world and had not earned a single Ryder Cup point. He had not played competitive golf in a year, the result of his fourth back surgery.
"Deep down, I wanted to make the team. I really wanted to play on it," Woods said on Tuesday at a news conference where Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau were also added to the U.S. team. "Now I had not started playing golf really yet, but still ... it was a goal.
"... As the year progressed, I've kind of gained some traction and was somehow able to get some high finishes. And lo and behold, I'm a part of this team. It's incredible, it really is, to look back at the start of the year and now to have accomplished a goal like that, to be a part of this team, and now to be a player is just -- like I said, it's beyond special."
Woods, who has five top-10 finishes this year, including a runner-up at the PGA Championship three weeks ago, ended up 11th in the final Ryder Cup standings, with the top eight players after the PGA earning automatic picks.