Phil Mickelson, for all his accomplishments in more than two decades as a professional golfer, has two glaring omissions from his resume.
Firstly a U. S. Open title, and secondly a Ryder Cup victory on European soil
The 48-year-old can check off number two this weekend if the United States retains the Ryder Cup with a win across the Atlantic for the first time since 1993.
Mickelson, preparing to play in his 12th Ryder Cup, could set multiple tournament records if he plays wildly well at Le Golf National, including most matches played and points won.
However, a victory for the USA is really all that matters to the team's elder statesman.
"This is a team event, and this is an event for all of us to cherish and to be a part of, and every person, from the players to the caddies to the spouses to the captains and vice captains, every player plays an integral piece of the puzzle to do well and to succeed," Mickelson said Tuesday after his first practice round.
"But because I've played in these events for so long and have never won over here, it would be one of the moments I would cherish the most if we were able to come out on top.
"We have a quality team. We have great leadership and opportunity to succeed, but we still have to perform and we still have to go out and play some great golf to achieve that. But if we were to do that, it would be something that I would remember and cherish for the rest of my life."
Mickelson, who said he's "come to love and cherish being a part of these weeks even more", enjoyed a practice round on a chilly Tuesday with team-mates who represent the past, present and future of this event as he teed it up alongside the side's youngest player, Bryson DeChambeau, as well as Patrick "Captain America" Reed and long-time friend and rival Tiger Woods.
He said he would "welcome" a chance to partner with Woods 14 years after their infamous flop at Oakland Hills in 2004.
But again, this week is not about his records at the Ryder Cup or providing golf fans a sentimental, nostalgic moment with Woods. It's about making the most of a last chance.
Mickelson added: "I am aware this is most likely the last one on European soil and my last opportunity to be part of a team that would be victorious here, and that would mean a lot to me personally.
"I think it would mean a lot to our team and to the United States Ryder Cup to have a victory on foreign soil. It's been 25 years."
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