When people think of the best golfer of the 2000s, their minds automatically go to Tiger Woods. And these people would be right. Woods was the clear best player, but there is another man who doesn’t get nearly as much respect as he deserves and this is Phil Mickelson. If it wasn’t for Tiger Woods, Mickelson would have been the clear best player of the time and would be considered by many as the best of all time. But unfortunately, he was always in the shadow of Woods and never really got his due. Here I will give Mickelson his time in the spotlight and talk about his brilliant career.
From a very young age, Mickelson golfer with his father (who was an airline pilot) multiple times a week and their large backyard allowed Phil to practice his putting and short game. After improving over the years and becoming a really good golfer in his own right, Mickelson attended Arizona State University on a golf scholarship. While in college, Mickelson became the face of amateur golf and dominated. He won three national championships and was an all American all four years. He also won a PGA Tour event as an amateur in 1991, and he is still the last amateur to win a PGA tour event. As far as his style goes, Mickelson is seen as a very aggressive and risky golfer, often taking shots that could leave him in very rough positions if he misses them. And while his driving is powerful, it is often very inaccurate, but thankfully, he has an incredible short game that can get him out of any sticky situation he may find himself in.
After graduating school in 1992, Phil Mickelson quickly turned pro. And throughout the 90’s he was pretty solid, but he really burst onto the scene in the early 2000s. However, as of 2003, he didn’t have a major title which led him to be known by many as the best golfer to never win a major title. Its not as if he didn’t have good performances though, in fact, he had 17 top ten finishes in the majors and was right on the brink of superstardom.
Well, he would achieve that star status in 2004 when he finally won his first major, the Masters. Another cool fact about this win was that he was only the third golfer in history who golfs left handed to win a major tournament. Throughout the rest of his career (so far) Mickelson would amass 42 PGA Tour wins, as well as five majors, in which three of them are Masters wins (which is tied for third most of all time). He has won three of the four majors, with only the U.S Open eluding him (though he has finished second at that tournament a record six times). He is also a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame as of 2012, which cemented his legacy as one of the best of all time. Despite all of these accolades, he still doesn’t get the respect he deserves from some, which is a travesty in my eyes.