It goes back to the last week in November 26 years ago, but this weekend it has all come to an end for Phil Mickelson
One of the game’s longest-running endurance feats has come to an end this week. Phil Mickelson first entered the world’s top 50 on November 28, 1993, after finishing second in the Casio World Open behind Tom Lehman. He went in at No. 47, sandwiched between Fuzzy Zoeller and Craig Stadler, and until now he never came out.
His run lasted 1,353 straight weeks, only once before has he threatened to fall out of it, early last year before a top 5 in Phoenix, and he’s been as high as second, several times, without ever reaching the summit.
To put that number into some sort of context the next best top-50 streak is Ernie Els at 965 weeks while Rory McIlroy is going strong at 599 weeks. The next six best are Matt Kuchar (513), Dustin Johnson (509), Justin Rose (492), Jason Day (480) and Sergio Garcia (430).
This is what Mickelson looked like in November 1993. Meat Loaf was in the middle of a seven-week run at the top of the charts, Graham Taylor had just resigned as England manager, Schindler’s List was set to be released, and McIlroy was four years old.
Phil has been flirting with the outside for a few weeks now, having not played in Japan and not being able to find any meaningful form.
Recent results went his way and he managed to hang on to 50th spot heading into the WGC-HSBC Champions.
Mickelson put in a decent performance and played his way to a tied 28th finish which again left him relying on the performance of others to keep him in the top 50.
Shugo Imahira has been impressive on the Japan Golf Tour this season and it was his second-place finish at the Mynavi ABC Championship that has finally nudged Mickelson outside of the top 50.