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Mickelson looks to improve losing Ryder Cup record

GLENEAGLES, Scotland (AP) — Phil Mickelson is certainly proud to be playing in his U.S. record 10th consecutive Ryder Cup. He’d just rather not be reminded about those other records he holds in golf’s premier team event.

Mickelson has won five majors in his career but he’s also a symbol of recent U.S. failures against Europe in a competition the Americans used to dominate.

Since playing in his first Ryder Cup 19 years ago, Mickelson has been on the losing side seven out of nine times. He’s won 14 of his matches, but lost a U.S. record 18 matches — including a record five defeats in singles.

So, he was asked by a British reporter on Wednesday, is the Ryder Cup record a “blot” on your resume?

“I wouldn’t say it as eloquently as you did by calling it a blot,” a smiling Mickelson said. “But I think that it’s a record that I’d like to improve on.”

The reporter pressed on, asking whether he was stung by the knowledge that he has lost more matches than any other American.

“Are you always this half empty?” Mickelson said with a laugh. “Is that how you look at things? Because we’re more optimistic here.”

But the numbers don’t lie. And Lefty knows that.

“Absolutely, I would like to improve my record,” he said. “That’s certainly a goal. It doesn’t take too much to improve my winning percentage, I’ll say that. “

The 44-year-old Mickelson has qualified automatically for 10 Ryder Cups going back to 1995, when he went 3-0 as a rookie at Oak Hill. He hasn’t required a captain’s pick once during that time.

“It’s 20 years of Ryder Cups, I just can’t believe it,” Mickelson’s teammate Keegan Bradley said. “It’s amazing because you have to stay healthy, you’ve got to stay sharp with your game. It’s going to be tough for somebody to do that. You’ve got to be super consistent for 20 years, which is almost impossible.”

Mickelson and Bradley are expected to line up again together in Friday’s opening matches. They teamed up to go 3-0 two years ago in Medinah, where Europe overcame a 10-6 deficit after the first two days to win 14

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