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Golf Australia Express : GA Express 274
PLAYER PROFILE T he end of an era loomed large at TPC Scottsdale last week. Phil Mickelson – the world’s No.49 ranked player at the start of the Phoenix Open – looked destined to drop out of the Top-50 in the rankings for the first time in 24 years. When Mickelson first cracked a spot in the Top-50 in November 1993, Nick Faldo was World No.1 and the reigning major winners were Bernhard Langer (Masters), Lee Janzen (U.S. Open), Greg Norman (Open Championship) and Paul Azinger (US PGA). Jordan Spieth was just four months old, Justin Thomas was six months old and Jon Rahm was a year away from being born. But as he has done throughout his career, the 47-year-old rose to the occasion. Buoyed by the tens of thousands watching his every move, he played his way into contention. A second round 65 was followed by a 66 and he ventured into Sunday a shot from the lead. There are few more exciting players in world golf to watch than Mickelson with the scent of a win in his nostrils. In his 99th start since his last victory – at the 2013 Open Championship at Muirfield – ‘Lefty’ was looking to break the drought. But the radar was askew over the opening 14 holes and it wasn’t until he collected a hat-trick of birdies from the 15th that he became a threat to win the title. Alas, his double-bogey on the 72nd hole sucked the wind from the sails and dropped into a tie for 5th. But his ranking rebounded to No.41. Fast-forward a week and the Mickelson nostrils were flaring again as he inched his way up the leaderboard, this time on the final ► THERE ARE FEW MORE EXCITING PLAYERS IN WORLD GOLF TO WATCH THAN MICKELSON WITH THE SCENT OF A WIN IN HIS NOSTRILS.
GA Express 273
GA Express 275