'Always the bridesmaid, never the bride.' This has been the story of Phil Mickelson’s golfing career.
Because, even after winning 42 titles on the PGA tour, including five Major Championships and one Open Championship and spending more than 700 weeks in the top-10 of the official Golf Rankings, the world No.1 Ranking has still eluded him.
His highest ranking till date has been World No.2, which is something he has achieved, on numerous occasions and one that meant that he received a lifetime exemption on the PGA Tour.
In 1993, just a year after starting his golfing career, Mickelson hired Jim "Bones" Mackay as his caddy, who remains in that position even today, thanks to the bond that the both of them have shared over the past two decades of being on tour.
Over the first decade on tour, he won plenty of PGA Tour tournaments, including the Byron Nelson Golf Classic and the World Series of Golf in 1996, the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in 1998, the Colonial National Invitation in 2000 and the Greater Hartford Open in 2001 and 2002.
But throughout this time, although he played very well at the Majors, his inability to win even a single one meant that he was frequently called as the 'best golfer never to win a Major.'
But, as fate would have it, in 2004, Mickelson won his first Major championship at the 2004 Masters, defeating Ernie Els and in the process becoming only the third golfer with a left handed swing, to win a major. Just another year later, he claimed his second Major, when he won the 2005 PGA Championship, one shot ahead of Steve Elkington and Thomas Bjørn.
By Spring 2006, Mickelson had already won his third major championship, the 2006 Masters and in the process propelling him to second place in the Official World Golf Rankings (his career best), behind only Tiger Woods.
After a lean few years, which didn’t see him win a Major, he finally broke his duck in the 2010 Masters tournament, where he defeated Lee Westwood by three strokes. Amidst his personal problems, his winning the Major, was seen as something that was one for the family, who had helped him get to where he is now.
Now, in 2013, after winning the Scottish open and claiming his first Open Championship in Britain, he has climbed back into second place, ahead of Northern Ireland’s Rory Mcllroy, and within touching distance of Tiger Woods.
So, the question now is, after coming so close on so many occasions, will Phil Mickelson finally become World No.1 or will Tiger continue to prowl and maintain a healthy lead and settle Mickelson’s fate, once and for all.
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