Many of golf’s most eye-popping records and statistics have been accomplished by a handful of men who are widely considered to be among the best to have ever picked up a club.
Phil Mickelson, however, for all of his fortune and fame, is rarely talked about in the same breath as Tiger Woods or Jack Nicklaus when debating the greatest player of all time, yet Mickelson accomplished something recently that neither Tiger nor Jack can say they did.
Last week, Mickelson recorded his 1,305th consecutive week inside the Official World Golf Rankings top-50, a mark that totals more than 25 years.
The OWGR was introduced in 1986, and Mickelson first appeared in the ranking in 1988. Following a runner-up finish to Tom Lehman at the Casio World Open in Japan in 1993, Mickelson entered the top-50 and has never left.
This week Phil Mickelson @MickelsonHat will reach another milestone in his long and storied career when the American celebrates 25 consecutive years inside the Top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking!!https://t.co/BKVNII8yss#OWGR#OfficialWorldGolfRanking pic.twitter.com/CkjiGtM5RJ
— OWGR (@OWGRltd) November 26, 2018
Over the last two and a half decades, Mickelson’s OWGR numbers are staggering. He’s finished inside the top-10 in 166 of his 647 OWGR-sanctioned events, which breaks down to over 25% of the time. He’s spent 774 weeks inside the top-10 in the world ranking, including a mind-boggling 269 weeks as the No. 2-ranked golfer in the world.
That means Mickelson has been ranked second in the world for more than five years. Of course, every one of those 269 weeks as No. 2, Woods was No. 1, which undoubtedly made Phil’s win over Tiger at “The Match” last month all the sweeter.
Mickelson is currently ranked 31st in the OWGR, but he’s announced he plans to scale back his 2019 schedule. He is eligible to play in the Sentry Tournament of Champions on Jan. 3 as a result of his WGC-Mexico victory, but he hasn’t committed to playing yet.