For better or worse, Phil Mickelson’s career will always be measured against Tiger Woods. With yet another second-place finish at a major, it’s clear that Mickelson’s career will always be defined by what could have been.
Mickelson’s second-place finish at the U.S. Open was the sixth of his career, and it was his 19th top-3 finish at a major. And yet, only four of those top-3 finishes (21.1%) were wins.
For comparison, Woods has won 58.3% (14 of 24) of his top-3 finishes at a major.
If Mickelson could close out a major as well as Tiger and converted the same rate of top-3 finishes into wins, Mickelson would have won 11 majors by now instead of four.
Even if Mickelson converted top-3s into wins at the same rate as Jack Nicklaus (39.1%) or Arnold Palmer (36.8%), he would have seven majors.
Instead, Mickelson has four wins in a major, the same number as Ernie Els and Raymond Floyd. That is still very good company. But it is not the elite, and that is exactly what Mickelson’s career is.
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