phil mickelsonPhil Mickelson turned professional in 1992 but had to wait until 2004 to win his first major tournament. Between 1999 and 2003, Mickelson finished in the top three in six majors including runner-up at the US Open in 1999 and 2002. His PGA Tour victories include 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. He also won the Buick Invitational in 2000, defeating Tiger Woods to bring an end to his winning streak of six consecutive tournaments.

 

He has now gone on to win four major championships and more than forty events on the PGA Tour. Mickelson has been in the top 10 of the Official World Golf Rankings for more than 700 weeks in total and has been ranked in the top 10 every year since 1996. He has recorded at least one victory on the PGA Tour every year since 1993 apart from 1999 and 2003. His highest official world ranking has been number two.

 

Mickelson is well known for his attacking golf and shot a career-low 59 at the PGA Grand Slam of Golf in Hawaii in 2004. He finally broke his duck in major tournaments when sinking an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole to beat Ernie Els in the 2004 US Masters. He became only the third golfer playing left-handed to win a major after Bob Charles and Mike Weir.

 

In 2005, Mickelson won the US PGA Championship at Baltusrol. A superb soft pitch from the rough trickled to within eighteen inches of the hole enabling him to putt out for a one-stroke victory over Steve Elkington and Thomas Bjørn. In 2006, Mickelson won his second Masters by two strokes from Tim Clark and became World number two behind Tiger Woods. He came very close to winning a third consecutive major at the 2006 US Open when he led by one stroke going up the last. A wayward drive and a poor iron shot left him with a double bogey and tied for second spot. He later admitted that his lapse on the final hole hurt him more than any other tournament defeat.

 

In 2009, Mickelson finished runner-up in the US Open for a record fifth time and claimed a fourth major success at the 2010 Masters. A score of 16 under par, just two shots short of the record set by Woods, gave him a comfortable three shot victory. He was tied for second at the British Open in 2011 and was again prominent at the Masters in 2012, finishing tied for third.

 

Mickelson was elected into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011 and remains a leading contender in the major championships. He returned to the World’s top ten when winning the Phoenix Open by four strokes in February 2013. He opened in typically aggressive fashion with a round of 60 including seven birdies. He needed a birdie on the 18th hole to equal the PGA Tour record of 59 but his 25-foot putt lipped out.