Ryder Cup 2014: Phil Mickelson confident of automatic USA place

Phil Mickelson
Mickelson currently lies tenth in the United States Ryder Cup points standings

Phil Mickelson says he is confident he can still qualify automatically for the USA Ryder Cup team.

The world number 13 is currently 10th in the points standings, with only the top nine earning an automatic place.

The qualifying period ends after the US PGA Championship on Sunday and captain Tom Watson will then choose three wild cards in September.

Mickelson has made a record nine consecutive appearances for USA, automatically qualifying every time.

USA Ryder Cup standings: the current top 10
1. Bubba Watson6. Jordan Spieth
2. Jim Furyk7. Patrick Reed
3. Jimmy Walker8. Jason Dufner
4. Rickie Fowler9. Zach Johnson
5. Matt Kuchar10. Phil Mickelson

He said: "I'm confident I'll get on the team on my own and won't require that [captain's] pick. I want to keep that streak going of two decades that I have."

Mickelson has endured a frustrating 2014, and looked out of form in the defence of his Open title at Hoylake and for much of last week's WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

However, a final round of 62 in that tournament has boosted his confidence and closed the gap on former Masters champion Zach Johnson, who occupies the last automatic qualifying place.

"I really believe that after the way I played at the weekend, I'll continue that into this week," Mickelson added.

US Ryder Cup: potential wild card picks
Keegan Bradley (currently 11th in the standings)2011 US PGA champion. Won three of four matches at the 2012 Ryder Cup.
Webb Simpson (currently 15th)2012 US Open champion. Won two of four matches at the 2012 Ryder Cup.
Hunter Mahan (currently 32nd)Former world number 4 and 2012 World Match Play champion. Two-time Ryder Cup player.
Steve Stricker (currently 38th)Former world number 2 and 2001 World Match Play champion. Three-time Ryder Cup player.
Tiger Woods (currently 69th)14-time major winner. Seven-time Ryder Cup player.

Watson's preparations for September's match at Gleneagles have been troubled, with Dustin Johnson, who was in line for one of the automatic places, taking a break from golf, and Tiger Woods struggling to make the team through injury and poor form.

Woods is currently 69th in the points standings, and on Sunday withdrew from the WGC-Bridgestone Invitiational with an injury to his lower back.

Watson admitted the latest setback "doesn't bode well" for Woods's participation at Gleneagles.

The US PGA begins at Valhalla on Thursday. Woods has not yet said whether he will play.

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