American veteran Phil Mickleson hopes to play in the Ryder Cup again

Phil Mickelson was a wildcard pick for the USA
Phil Mickelson was a wildcard pick for the USA

Ryder Cup veteran Phil Mickleson hopes his long association with the event did not end in a watery grave but accepts he may have played his last match for the United States.

The 48-year-old arrived at Le Golf National woefully out of form, requiring a captain's pick in order to be able to make his 12th appearance, but never looked like regaining it over the three days.

He was dreadful in the Friday foursomes, rested for the whole of Saturday, and then ended his singles match against Europe's star performer Francesco Molinari by dumping his tee shot at the 16th in the lake and conceding the match on the tee.

It would be a terrible way for the left-hander to bow out and while he wants to carry on he admits it could be the end.

"It's difficult to talk about it because it means so much to me over the years, and I did not play well this year," said Micklelson, whose record in the event stands at 18 wins, 22 defeats and seven halves, with the USA winning just three of the dozen he has played.

"This could very well, realistically, be my last one but with these guys I'm motivated now to work hard, to not go out on this note.

"I'm motivated to play well these next two years to get back at Whistling Straits (in 2020) and to show what I can do in these events, because this week was not my best.

"I was not playing my best and I spent more time hitting balls throughout the week than I have all year trying to find something that would click and it's just been a struggle.

"The last month has been a struggle, ever since I shot 63 right before being picked, I've struggled."

Mickelson's miserable Ryder Cup was mirrored by Tiger Woods, who came into the event on the back of his first win in five years.

However, winning the Tour Championship on the eve of the Ryder Cup appeared to take its toll, as did the 42-year-old's packed playing schedule in the lead up, as he flopped badly in France.

He failed to win a point in four matches, racking up his 21st defeat in the event, and looked a shadow of the player who had impressed at East Lake in the PGA Tour's season-ending event a week earlier.

It was probably a tournament too far for the 14-time major winner, who was another of captain Jim Furyk's wild card selections, after making a remarkable return to form after spinal fusion surgery.

Considering his poor record in the event for a player of his considerable individual talent it may be time to call time on his extended involvement unless he can rediscover his top form and qualify on merit.

The future for the USA clearly lies in the hands of Justin Thomas, their top points scorer and Jordan Spieth, a consistent performer over the last three events.

Thomas claimed four points, three with Spieth, with the fourth coming after victory over Rory McIlroy in the opening match of the singles.

Despite putting the first red on the board Thomas' team-mates

were unable to follow his lead and the 25-year-old admits any individual achievement means nothing in the wake of a team defeat.

"Personally for me, it doesn't matter what you do in singles," he said.

"I would gladly go 0-5 every Ryder Cup my entire career if that means we win every single time that we play.

"It's not a fun feeling but for me personally, it was nerves, experience, atmosphere, unlike anything I've ever come close to experiencing in my career, in my life, and two years definitely can't come quick enough, that's for sure."


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