On Monday, May 7, 2012 Phil Mickelson will be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, Florida. The call to the hall salutes Mickelson's nearly 20 years of excellence in professional golf.
In most sports the Hall of Fame represents the pinnacle, as well as the final salute, to greatness in that particular sport. However, given the career longevity possible in professional golf, sometimes the Hall of Fame induction comes in mid-career. This is more of the attitude that Mickelson is taking as he accepts his Hall of Fame award. At age 41 Mickelson still feels he has some good golf left in the tank. His win at Pebble Beach earlier in 2012 as well his playoff loss a week later at Riviera validate that fact.
Not content with his current position in the world of professional golf, Mickelson strives forward toward his stated goal of winning 50 career PGA tournament titles. Given that Mickelson finished in the top three in the 2012 Masters and in the 2011 British Open, he is also not content to finish his career with four major championships. Perhaps he might even claim that elusive United States Open Championship.
In the eyes of most observers Mickelson will be regarded as the second best player of his era behind only Tiger Woods. That is quite an accomplishment because, like him or not, Tiger Woods has been a transcendent figure in the game of professional golf. No player of Woods' era can match Tiger in the number of major championships or tour victories. However, Mickelson has nevertheless posted a very impressive record when measured against anyone else in this era. More than that, his 40 career PGA tour titles places him in the top 10 on the all-time list. That is no mean feat.
Instead of focusing on what might have been with Mickelson, we should focus on his accomplishments, and what he means to the game now. Mickelson is a true giant of the game. We have been witnesses to his immense talent for many years. We have also witnessed his Palmeresque rapport with fans that will likely extend, as has Mr. Palmer's, throughout the remainder of his life. So let me offer my congratulations to Phil Mickelson on his Hall of Fame induction and may he experience continued success on the PGA Tour.
Dwight is an avid golfer. While still relatively new to the game, he plays as often as the weather and his schedule will allow.