Golf - Mickelson, Couples named U.S. Ryder Cup vice-captains

FILE PHOTO: May 21, 2021; Kiawah Island, South Carolina, USA; Steve Stricker hits from the eighth tee box during the second round of the PGA Championship golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - U.S. captain Steve Stricker on Wednesday named six-times major winner Phil Mickelson and former Masters champion Fred Couples as vice-captains for this year's Ryder Cup.

It will mark the first time the 51-year-old Mickelson, who has played on every U.S. Ryder Cup team since 1995, serves as vice captain and the second for 61-year-old Couples.

"I've been staying in close contact with both Freddie and Phil, talking about all things Ryder Cup, for a while now," Stricker said in a news release.

"They provide honest and impactful feedback, and both have such a passion for the Ryder Cup. I'm honored that they were willing to join our Team and help put us in the best position to win in a few weeks at Whistling Straits."

Mickelson, who won the PGA Championship in May at the age of 50 to become golf's oldest major winner, owns a number of Ryder Cup records on the U.S. side including most appearances, four-ball points won and overall matches played.

Couples, who counts the 1992 Masters among his 15 wins on the PGA Tour, represented the United States in five Ryder Cups and served as vice captain in 2012.

The Ryder Cup, a biennial team competition between the United States and Europe, will be held from Sept. 24-26 at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Ed Osmond)

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