Phil Mickelson out of top 50 for 1st time since '93

Tanya Simon
November 7, 2019

Xander Schauffele waded into the debate over the world's best golfer after finishing runner-up to Rory McIlroy in a play-off at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai yesterday.

McIlroy got the first crack off the tee on the first sudden-death playoff hole.

After finishing tied for 18th at the Masters in April, the five-time major victor has missed the cut six times and hasn't finished higher than 28th.

"It was a good run", Mickelson said after shooting a final-round 68 on Sunday, according to the AP. "Unfortunately, the last eight months I played terribly and have fallen out. I really wanted to get another win before the end of the year and now that I've done that, it would be nice to get two wins".

Mickelson was in the top 50 for 1,353 weeks from November 28, 1993 - the longest streak since the introduction of the official rankings in 1986. Deane Beman was the commissioner of the PGA Tour.

McIlroy and Koepka have separated themselves from the rest of the competition this year.

That's all Mickelson has done.

McIlroy quickly had company at the top of the leaderboard when Oosthuizen holed a 15-footer for a birdie on the first and the 2010 Open champion took the lead when he got up and down from just over the back of the second. Brendan Todd returned to the winner's circle at the inaugural Bermuda Championship, and PGA TOUR players celebrate Halloween with family-themed costumes.

His hallmark is consistently great play, and it is unrivaled.

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"My time will come", he said. "You're not as sharp because you're not doing it as often".

"I want to finish the year on a high note", he said.

He hasn't finished better than a tie for 18th since then.

Rory McIlroy, who won the HSBC to move closer to No. 1-ranked Brooks Koepka, now has the best active top-50 streak of 598 weeks - or almost 15 years behind Mickelson. For everyone else but Mickelson, it seemed something always would go wrong, whether it was injury (Woods) or a spell of bad play (Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose).

Mickelson's top-50 streak is more than seven years longer than the next best of Ernie Els, who was in the top 50 for 965 weeks.

It starts with great golf, and Mickelson is among the best to ever play.

"You just can't give away holes", Oosthuizen said. Having kids on the road early in my career was a big thing.

He also is 30. "I feel better than when I came into the league".

"I have one more event left in Dubai", McIlroy said of what's next for him. Tiger Woods is about to make his captain's picks for the Presidents Cup and Mickelson is expected not to be included.

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