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June 25, 2017

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Mickelson's British Open victory gives Couples a Cup boost

United States captain Fred Couples says he is excited by how his Presidents Cup team is shaping up, with Phil Mickelson's brilliant victory at last week's British Open the highlight among several recent eye-catching displays.

Mickelson clinched his fifth major title by three shots, closing with a stunning 5-under-par 66 at Muirfield, while compatriots Hunter Mahan (joint ninth) and Brandt Snedeker (tied for 11th) also fared well after contending for much of the week.

All three Americans are riding high in the points standings for automatic Presidents Cup selection, along with former major winners Tiger Woods, Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson and Zach Johnson.

"Phil Mickelson, who has played in all nine Presidents Cups to date, won the Open Championship with one of the best rounds of golf you'll ever see," an admiring Couples wrote in his official captain's blog on Wednesday.

"Several players I expect to be on the U.S. Cup team this fall also impressed me with their play at Muirfield, namely Hunter Mahan and Brandt Snedeker. Both players have yet to win a major, but they continue to contend in these big events."

Mahan has recorded four top-10s in 19 starts on the 2013 PGA Tour, including a tie for fourth at the U.S. Open and a share of ninth at Muirfield.

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