Mickelson's greatest escape? – Lefty's amazing top-50 streak continues
Phil Mickelson performed arguably his greatest escape at the weekend as a fifth-placed finish at the Phoenix Open preserved his place in the world's top 50.
For a man who has won five majors, a move up to 41st in the rankings may seem somewhat underwhelming, but Mickelson has not resided outside the leading 50 players since 1993.
The American first took up his residence among the elite in November 1993, at the age of 23 – more than half his lifetime ago.
Now 47, the left-hander occupied the perilous spot of 49th heading to TPC Scottsdale, where on Sunday he rallied to finish in a tie for fifth.
A characteristically entertaining round saw him approach the last hole on a run of three birdies, only for a double-bogey six to see him finish four strokes back from eventual winner Gary Woodland.
Remarkably, Mickelson has never topped the rankings, with Tiger Woods having of course dominated for so many years.
The last of Mickelson's major triumphs came back in 2013, but here we take a look at what the world of golf was like 20 years earlier, before Mickelson stepped into the spotlight.
"I play my best when I'm having fun." - Phil Mickelson on having his brother, Tim on the bag for the rest of the season. pic.twitter.com/OMr870IBqp— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) 6 July 2017
In November 1993...
- Jordan Spieth, who is honing in on Mickelson's major tally, was just four months old.
- That year's four major champions were Bernhard Langer (Masters), Lee Janzen (U.S. Open), Greg Norman (Open Championship) and Paul Azinger (US PGA Championship).
- Nick Price topped the money leaders on the PGA Tour, totalling $1.48million. Woodland banked $1.24m for winning the Phoenix Open at the weekend.
- On the European Tour, it was a 30-year-old Scot named Colin Montgomerie who secured the Order of Merit.
- Nick Faldo was world number one in a stretch spanning 81 weeks.
- The PGA Tour Rookie of the Year was future three-time major winner Vijay Singh.
- The United States held the Ryder Cup. Their 15-13 victory at The Belfry remains the last time the Americans prevailed in Europe, and also still the most recent instance of them retaining the crown.