ST LOUIS (AFP) - Five-time major winner Phil Mickelson failed in his bid to qualify on points for a 12th consecutive US Ryder Cup team on Saturday (Aug 11), missing the cut at the 100th PGA Championship.
The 48-year-old lefthander, a fixture on American Ryder Cup squads since his 1995 debut, fired a one-over par 71 to stand on four-over for 36 holes, four strokes beyond the cut line at Bellerive Country Club.
Also missing the cut were Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau and Kyle Stanley, contenders just outside the top eight on the points list who will qualify for next month's showdown against Europe in France after Sunday's final round.
DeChambeau was ninth on points, one spot ahead of Mickelson, with Kuchar 12th and Stanley 14th.
Mickelson has also made every US Presidents Cup lineup against a non-European Internationals side since 1994 in addition to his Ryder Cup run.
US captain Jim Furyk, who made the cut on the number at level-par, will add four captain's picks next month to complete his lineup - the only remaining Ryder Cup path for those who missed the cut.
Tiger Woods, set to be an assistant captain, is expected by many to land one of the coveted picks after his comeback from spinal fusion surgery this season. Woods briefly led last month's British Open and moved to four-under, just six shots off the lead, after completing his second round on Saturday. He ranks 20th on the points list despite missing almost a full season.
Mickelson is also seen as a likely pick by Furyk, who played alongside Xander Schauffele and Tony Finau, two other contenders to make the squad on points or as picks, in the first two rounds.
Finau, who also made the cut at even par, matched Gary Player's tournament record with 10 birdies in his second round but only shot 66 thanks in part to a triple bogey at the par-3 sixth.
"Emotional roller coaster - five birdies in a row to start my round then a triple in there. It was crazy," Finau said. "I'm really happy to be playing the weekend."
Finau was paired again with Furyk in round three while Schauffele was on three-under.
Top-ranked Dustin Johnson, US Open winner Brooks Koepka, second-ranked defending PGA champion Justin Thomas and Masters champion Patrick Reed have clinched berths on points with Bubba Watson and Jordan Spieth all-but assured of spots also.
Vulnerable this weekend are Rickie Fowler and Webb Simpson in the last two automatic places, but both have enhanced their chances at the PGA.
Fowler, seeking his first major title, shares third on eight-under, two strokes behind leader Gary Woodland, while Simpson was level with Woods.
Also in contention is Kevin Kisner, 15th on the points list and second at Bellerive, just a shot adrift of Woodland - who is 22nd on the points list - but either would make a huge jump with a victory.
EUROPE RACE HAS MORE TIME
Europe's Ryder Cup qualifying system has three more weeks remaining, with four points spots and four based on world rankings not set until Sept 2, followed by four picks from captain Thomas Bjorn.
Europe points leaders include British Open winner Francesco Molinari of Italy and England's Justin Rose, Tyrrell Hatton and Tommy Fleetwood.
Molinari shared 12th at the halfway stage in Missouri, with Rose on four under, while Hatton and Fleetwood also made the cut.
Europe rankings leaders include Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy, Spain's Jon Rahm, Sweden's Alex Noren and England's Paul Casey.
Rahm was level with Molinari on five-under with McIlroy two further back, but Noren and Casey both missed the cut, Casey by eight shots.
That opens a path for Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen, one spot out on both points and world ranking, who was two-under with a chance to move up.
Also on the rise was England's Ian Poulter, who was three-under and needing to jump into a rankings spot as a US tour player rather than making points on the European side.