Phil Mickelson climbed 10 spots on the leader board with a final-round 68 at the WGC-HSBC Champions. It wasn't enough, though, to keep from falling below a certain level in the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time in more than a quarter century.
Mickelson's remarkable run of being in the OWGR's top 50 is projected to come to an end when the weekly ranking comes out on Monday. The five-time major champ first entered the top 50 on Nov. 23, 1996, after a runner-up finish at the Casio World Open in Japan.
Ironically, his amazing streak was snapped by a runner-up finish in Japan as well. Shugo Imahira's solo second at the Mynavi ABC Championship on the Japan Golf Tour will move the 27-year-old to No. 50, bumping the 49-year-old Hall-of-Famer.
Twitter's Official World Golf Ranking guru @Nosferatu first pointed out the situation on Sunday:
And projected what the new OWGR will look like with Rory McIlroy closing the gap on World No. 1 Brooks Koepka thanks to his latest WGC win:
Mickelson jumped to No. 17 with a win at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-am, the 44th of his PGA Tour career. But he's recorded just one top top-25 finish since—a T-18 at the Masters—while missing the cut eight times.
“It was a good run,” Mickelson told the Associated Press after Sunday's round in Shanghai. “But I’ll be back.”