Golf’s sweetheart, Phil Mickelson, is getting older.
The 46-year old hasn’t won on the PGA Tour since his triumphant Open Championship at Muirfield in 2013, and though he’s come close a few times recently (including an epic Sunday battle with Henrik Stenson in the final round at Royal Troon), Phil has been without the thrill of late.
With injuries and swing issues becoming more common for Mickelson, worries that he won’t be able to close out tournaments are rising.
Even if Mickelson was at the top of his game in prime physical condition, it would hardly be a cake walk to win a major or even a full-field tournament. Lefty remains a fringe contender in every tournament he plays, but with such a wealth of extremely talented players on tour, Phil’s chances at winning a major are dimming.
Phil has remained relevant every year since his last win, racking up 11 top-tens since the start of the 2014 season, but as more and more players in their prime are starving for major wins, it is hardly going to get easier for Mickelson to make a run.
Phil is by no means a bad player on the tour, but if Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, or Jordan Spieth or anyone else is firing on all cylinders on Sunday at the Masters, Phil is unlikely to come out on top.
Our stars of the past (i.e. Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, Vijay Singh, Lefty) are all unfortunately seeing father time catch up to them and a new generation of more than capable players take their place.
Whether his game is sharp or not he is still an extreme fan favorite, and never shies away from signing autographs long after his round is over. No matter how his career progresses, Phil Mickelson has had a profound impact on the popularity of the sport and how fans view professional golfers.
By far the best left-hander ever to play the sport, Phil is a shoe-in Hall-of-Famer and one of the most well-liked athletes ever.
Though unlikely, one final win at the Masters would be a storybook ending to a beautiful career.