Can Phil Mickelson's PGA Championship run earn him Ryder Cup spot?

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KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. – The subtext to Phil Mickelson’s solid play at this week’s PGA Championship is how his performance might impact his chances to earn a spot on this year’s U.S. Ryder Cup team.

Before this week’s run, which has Lefty one stroke clear of the field at Kiawah Island, he wasn’t in the Ryder Cup conversation at 52nd on the U.S. points list.

“Oh, geez, I don't know,” U.S. captain Steve Stricker said Saturday when asked if Mickelson could be a potential captain’s pick. “If he were to go on and win here and continue to play some great golf … but he hasn't played really all that well up to this point, spurts here and there.”

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Even with a victory at the PGA Championship, Mickelson would likely need to maintain some sort of form to be seriously considered for the U.S. team, but European captain Padraig Harrington pointed out how valuable the 50-year-old could be to the American team room.

“If Phil shows any more form on top of this, yeah, you'd want to have an experienced player like that, but I don't think one week would be enough,” Harrington said. “He was up there in Wells Fargo, so yeah, he's showing the form, and he's very much a leader, so I think he'd be a good man to have around the team for sure.”