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Is Phil the 3rd Best Player of All Time?


DeadMan

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Upon first seeing the question, my gut reaction was "hell no." But..... upon reviewing the list of golf's all time greats, I was surprised how well Mickelson's resume stacks up. 

I think I still have to answer no. I would put Tom Watson ahead of Phil. And instinctively, I want to give Arnie the nod, even though the numbers don't seem to bear that out. 

Hogan? Snead? Player? That might take some digging, but I would guess the quality of competition would position Phil well within that group. 

Gun to my head, I would say top 5. But not #3.

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21 minutes ago, Big C said:

I think I still have to answer no. I would put Tom Watson ahead of Phil. And instinctively, I want to give Arnie the nod, even though the numbers don't seem to bear that out. 

I am not sure if winning 5 Opens helps his case. Did he just have a knack for those type of course? Not sure how to judge that his game fit The Open versus the other majors. Maybe it was a time were the Open still had weaker fields compared to the other majors. Also, he has less PGA tour wins than Phil.

Yea, I don't think the conversation can be Watson or Phil for #3. Phil's majors match up to Watson's if you compare strength of era's, and he has more PGA Tour wins. 

 

 

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On 5/26/2021 at 5:35 PM, Billy Z said:

The Mickelson File

• Winner of six major championships (3 Masters, 1 British Open, 2 PGA Championships)

• One of only 8 players with as many as three Masters wins

• One of only 15 men to hold at least three legs of the career Grand Slam

• Runner-up at the U.S. Open a record six times

• 24 top-3 finishes, 39 top-10 finishes at major championships

• Winner of 45 PGA Tour events, tied for eighth all time

If he wins a US Open then I would firmly put him at #3. If not, he would be in the top 6. Not sure a specific rank between #3 to #6 can be 'assigned'. 

Off topic: 

Like a million others, I am a fan all over again. Haven't cared for him as much since the gut wrench of 2006 US Open loss. Suddenly I find myself forgetting some dumb stuff of last few years and am following him on IG.. lol! I don't know, or even care if his fan interactions are elaborately practiced theater for opportune moments, but they are entertaining and heart warming. I have a clear favorite to root for for Torrey next month and for once in last few years he seems to be a legit contender. I hope he swings for fences, never know if he is going to be flaming this brightly for too long.  

Edited by GolfLug
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1 hour ago, saevel25 said:

I am not sure if winning 5 Opens helps his case. Did he just have a knack for those type of course? Not sure how to judge that his game fit The Open versus the other majors. Maybe it was a time were the Open still had weaker fields compared to the other majors. Also, he has less PGA tour wins than Phil.

 

The answer is quite simple.

Peter Thomson  won 5 Opens.

He will never be in any conversation about the 10  best players of all time. And with an equal number of majors as Phil until last week, it shows how using majors as THE measure is bogus.

 

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Peter won them when they had weaker fields than most PGA Tour events. Watson won his five when they were much better. Nowhere near as good as now (some Americans didn’t even make the trip when they qualified), but better than in Peter’s time.


Also, I tweeted my list above.

Predictably someone is coming at me about Hagen.

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Ha ha ha. I was blocked by the golf historian guy. Jeezus what thin skins people have. I didn’t even say anything except some fairly obvious (to me) facts.

Including that Yes, it’s easier to beat like eight people than 140+. I mean duh.

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

Peter won them when they had weaker fields than most PGA Tour events. Watson won his five when they were much better. Nowhere near as good as now (some Americans didn’t even make the trip when they qualified), but better than in Peter’s time.

 

That is my point exactly. When people direct our gaze to lists of major winners and try to use that as their prime supporting evidence it is misleading at best and dumb at worst.

Was just checking and in the 1959 Open (won by Player) of the 90 players there were three from the U.S. and one Aussie, (Thomson). Not exactly a stellar field.

In 1965 there were only 5 from the U.S.A.

 

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3 minutes ago, Shorty said:

That is my point exactly. When people direct our gaze to lists of major winners and try to use that as their prime supporting evidence it is misleading at best and dumb at worst.

Don’t tell @SHistorians on Twitter! 🙂

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59 minutes ago, iacas said:

Don’t tell @SHistorians on Twitter! 🙂

lol. Right, and Margaret Court is the GOAT female tennis player cuz she won more championships than Serena.🙄

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27 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

lol. Right, and Margaret Court is the GOAT female tennis player cuz she won more championships than Serena.🙄

Margaret Court IS the GOAT. Of hated Australian sportspeople.  🤮

No-one even comes close.

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On 5/25/2021 at 4:32 PM, iacas said:

Phil was a top five player, in the Tiger era, for a LOOOOOOONG freaking time.

How many weeks was Mickelson inside the top 5 for, in his career? 

Incidentally, total weeks inside the top 50:

Mickelson: 1,353 weeks

Els: 965 weeks

Current Players (Longest Streak): McIlroy: 598 weeks

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On 5/27/2021 at 8:29 PM, TourSpoon said:

 You are right if you want to define a Hall of Famer with six majors and top 5 for a long time by saying he is non dominant. I mean 1300 weeks in the top 50 is definitely the sign of non-dominance.  Seven hundred weeks of top ten must be another non-dominant trait. Face it, he is one of the best players of all time even if he doesn't fit your definition of being a dominant force in golf. 

Most weeks at #2 OWGR:

Mickelson: 270 weeks

Furyk: 39 weeks

Olazabal: 35 weeks

Mickelson, considering Tiger, and the fields he played against, is almost definitely a top 5 player ever. 3rd behind Tiger and Mickelson? It's actually possible.

 

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2 hours ago, csh19792001 said:

Most weeks at #2 OWGR:

 

 

This is as bad as arguing that Jack's second place major wins should count for something in the Tiger v Jack debate.  Worse actually since beyond the second place finishes Jack had actual wins, while beyond Phil's weeks at #2 is not a single week where he was #1.

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1 hour ago, turtleback said:

This is as bad as arguing that Jack's second place major wins should count for something in the Tiger v Jack debate.  Worse actually since beyond the second place finishes Jack had actual wins, while beyond Phil's weeks at #2 is not a single week where he was #1.

I see your point and it is well taken.  It’s shocking he was never world number 1 in a 30 year career.
 

That said, it’s quite hard to be at world number 1 when your entire prime is up against a guy who was by far the GOAT and 683 weeks at number one.
 

And 283 consecutive weeks at world number 1. 

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2 hours ago, turtleback said:

This is as bad as arguing that Jack's second place major wins should count for something in the Tiger v Jack debate.  Worse actually since beyond the second place finishes Jack had actual wins, while beyond Phil's weeks at #2 is not a single week where he was #1.

Fair enough, who are the top 5-10 golfers ever, in your opinion? Do you have them in order?

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3 hours ago, turtleback said:

This is as bad as arguing that Jack's second place major wins should count for something in the Tiger v Jack debate.  Worse actually since beyond the second place finishes Jack had actual wins, while beyond Phil's weeks at #2 is not a single week where he was #1.

Hard disagree there @turtleback, because we're NOT looking at who the top ONE player is, we're down the list. We're talking about #3.

So, staying in the top five or top ten in the OWGR begins to matter. To me, anyway.

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