Ryder Cup veteran Phil Mickelson relying on wild card pick

Phil Mickelson struggled to a missed cut at Bellerive
Phil Mickelson struggled to a missed cut at Bellerive

Phil Mickelson will need a wild card to make the US Ryder Cup team for the first time in his career after missing the cut in the US PGA Championship.

Mickelson began the week at Bellerive Country Club in 10th place in the standings and needing a good performance to secure one of the eight automatic qualifying places which will be determined on Sunday evening.

However, the five-time major winner could only add a second round of 71 to his opening 73 to finish four over par and miss the cut, as did Bryson DeChambeau and Matt Kuchar, who were ninth and 12th respectively in the qualifying race.

Mickelson has qualified for every Ryder Cup since 1995 and remains a strong contender for a wild card after claiming his first victory since the 2013 Open in the WGC-Mexico Championship earlier this season.

With Tiger Woods also widely expected to have done enough to earn a wild card, that leaves two more available to captain Jim Furyk and the likes of Gary Woodland and Kevin Kisner have certainly boosted their chances at Bellerive, where a first major victory would also seal an automatic place.

Woodland's halfway total of 130 is a tournament record and Kisner went into the third round just a shot behind after a 64 on Friday and a share of second place in the Open at Carnoustie.

Tony Finau and Xander Schauffele are also in contention and played alongside Furyk in the first two rounds, with Finau recording 10 birdies in a remarkable second round of 66 which contained no pars on the front nine and just four in total.

Finau made the cut on the mark of level par, with Schauffele three under after rounds of 70 and 67. Furyk will announce three of his wild cards after the Dell Technologies Championship on September 3 and the fourth on September 9.

Qualifying for the European team does not finish until September 2, but the form of two of his likely wild cards will be a concern for captain Thomas Bjorn, with Sergio Garcia missing his fifth straight cut in a major and Henrik Stenson also making an early exit.

Paul Casey currently occupies the final qualifying place but also missed the cut and could be overtaken by Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen, who went into the third round in a tie for 37th.

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