July 26, 2013

What Legacy Will Phil Mickelson Leave Behind?

By - Brad Heerschop

At the British Open this past Sunday, Phil Mickelson finally hoisted the Claret Jug for the first time in his career, at Muirfield Golf Links in Scotland.

Photo by: Getty Images
It was anything but easy, as "Lefty" stayed determined en route to his 5th career major. Mickelson shot an amazing 66 in the final round to erase a five stroke deficit for the victory. He closed things out in memorable fashion, with birdies on 4 of the final 6 holes.

So it begs the question, what mark will the 43-year-old American leave on the game of golf?

With one major left in order to complete the career Grand Slam, the PGA's most beloved player has certainly cemented his place in the record books as one of the best of his time.

In an era where Tiger Woods played in his prime, the several times Phil has found himself as the No. 2 golfer in the world speaks volumes about his drive and his character. Spending 700 weeks of his career in the top 10 of the World Golf Official Rankings is not something to shake a stick at.

Mickelson has amassed 42 career PGA victories, good for 9th all-time. If he isn't one of the best golfers overall to have ever played, there is no doubt that Phil is the greatest left-handed player the game has ever seen. Here's food for thought; second place on the all-time left-handed PGA victories list is Mike Weir, with a measly 8. In a sport where left-handers are not all that common, Phil Mickelson is in a class by himself.

However, there is one small matter to attend to before Mickelson can be considered a top 10 all-time golfer, at least in my book. The small matter I am referring to is this little thing called the U.S. Open.

The last major needed to put the exclamation point on a great career would be the sweetest one as well for Mickelson. He has finished the U.S. Open in second place, not once, not twice, not three times...you can keep counting; all the way to 6. I could only imagine how much six second-place finishes would eat at you.

Most recently, Lefty collapsed at this year's edition of the tournament. There is no doubt that the U.S. Open is the Achilles heel for Phil, and if he doesn't get this monkey off his back, I think it takes away from his amazing body of work, career-wise.

Will Mickelson finally pull off the win in the next few years, or will he continue to come up short?

Time will tell. But I, for one, sure hope he does.


  1. He wins a U.S. Open and I think he's top 10 all time. You could make an argument for him being top 10 already. Either way, he's one of the best shot makers in the history of the sport. Few guys have ever had the ability to recover from bad shots better than Mickelson.

  2. Well said Mike. My thoughts exactly.