When Phil Mickelson’s career is over, he will undoubtedly be considered one of the greatest golfer of all time, but as the chart below shows, it was so close to being so much better.
Mickelson has finished second in a major 11 times, including the 2016 Open Championship, second only to Jack Nicklaus, who was second 19 times. Of course, Jack also had 18 wins, while Mickelson has five major championships on his resume.
Mickelson also has 23 top-3 finishes in his career. Only Nicklaus (46) and Tiger Woods (24) have more. But while 56% of Nicklaus’ top-3s were wins and 67% for Woods, only 22% of Mickelson’s top-3s have been wins. That is the lowest rate among all golfers with at least five wins in golf’s majors.