It must be tough to capture 32 PGA tour victories, notch 38 career wins, two Masters and one PGA Championship, only to be knocked down when compared to Tiger Woods.
Welcome to the life of Phil Mickelson, one of the best professional golfers in the game today, but someone that can’t seem to shake the shadow of Woods.
In 1990, Mickelson became the first left-handed golfer to win the U.S. Amateur title, and in 1991 he won his first PGA Tour tournament at the Northern Telecom Open as an amateur.
Mickelson went to Arizona State on a golf scholarship and graduated in 1992, the same year he turned professional. From there, Mickelson went on to win his first Masters in 2004, a PGA Championship in 2005 and his second Masters in 2006.
He even wrote an autobiography titled: “One Magical Sunday: (But Winning Isn’t Everything),” about his unbelievable ride to a PGA Championship in 2005.
Despite all of his success, Mickelson has also blown opportunities to be the No. 1 ranked golfer in the world.
At the 2006 U.S. Open, Mickelson hit a driver far left after attempting to hit a "baby slice," and decided to go for the green with his second shot rather than pitch out into the fairway.
His ball instead hit a tree and on his next swing he put his ball in a nearby bunker. The collapse lead to his only double bogey of the tournament, and cost him the championship to Geoff Ogilvy.
Mickelson was also one stroke behind leaders Stewart Cink, Billy Andrade and Kenneth Ferrie early in the first round of the PGA Championship, where he was paired with Woods while seeking to defend his title.
His short-game coach Dave Pelz also commented during the tournament that Mickelson was better than Tiger. Pelz’s comment didn’t hold much water after Mickelson finished tied for 16th, and Woods captured his 12th career major.
Mickelson can look on the bright side, however, because there are much worse things to happen to a professional player besides being mentioned with one of the all-time greatest golfers to ever play the game.
Mickelson might have to work on his popularity with other players, however, considering he was ranked number eight in GQ Magazine’s 2006 list of the Ten Most Hated Athletes.
Phil on the web
Official Website of Phil Mickelson
Find facts, news, stats and more at Phil Mickelson’s official website.
Phil Mickelson Media Guide
Find a profile on Phil Mickelson as well as career streaks, stats and career details at PGA Tour.com.
Phil Mickelson on Golf Stars Online
Golf Stars Online offers a look at news, books and comments about professional golfers.
Phil Mickelson’s Unofficial Fansite
Bio, tournament victories and a look at what is in Phil Mickelson’s bag can all be found at Phil’s unofficial fansite.
ESPN.com’s Player Card: Phil Mickelson
ESPN.com provides a small bio on Phil Mickelson, but highlights his yearly and career stats.
News and Commentary
Phil Mickelson prevails at the PGA Championship
Phil Mickelson wins the PGA Championship on the final hole with a clutch up and down birdie.
Mickelson wins first major in thriller at Masters
Phil Mickelson won his first Masters the tough way – by beating Ernie Els by just one stroke in Augusta, GA.
PGA Championship: Tiger vs. Phil
As if the excellent tournament play wasn’t enough, Phil Mickelson’s coach Dave Pelz stirs the rivalry of Mickelson and Tiger Woods by claiming Phil is better than Tiger.
Phil was close, but is now so far away
MSCNBC columnist and contributor Dan O’Neill shares his opinion of why Phil Mickelson has blown his opportunity to challenge Tiger Woods as the No. 1 ranked golfer in 2006.
2006 GQ Magazine’s 10 Most Hated Athletes
Find out why other golfers call Phil Mickelson “FIGJAM.”