The streak ended with little fanfare, and that was just fine with Phil Mickelson.
He slashed his way to a tie for 28th in the WGC-HSBC Champions, with only 100 or so fans following along. Mickelson played his last nine holes right behind Rory McIlroy, but only because ‘Lefty’ was in the first group to tee off on the back nine. He signed for a 68 in his final round of the year.
The number that stands out is No.51, his position this week in the Official World Golf Ranking.
For the first time in nearly 26 years – 1,353 weeks to be exact – Mickelson is no longer among the top 50 in the world.
"It was a good run," Mickelson said on Sunday. "Unfortunately, the last eight months I played terribly and have fallen out. But I'll get back in there."
The question is whether anyone can ever match it.
Jordan Spieth was not quite four months old when Mickelson first cracked the top 50 on November 23, 1993, with a runner-up finish in the Casio World Open. Deane Beman was the commissioner of the PGA Tour.
"It was a good run … Unfortunately, the last eight months I played terribly and have fallen out. But I'll get back in there." – Phil Mickelson
Rory McIlroy compared Mickelson's streak to Tiger Woods going 142 starts on the PGA Tour over seven years without missing a cut.
"Being top 50 in the world since 1993, that means no injuries, no breaks, that is nothing," McIlroy said. "Play your game, keep going."
That's all Mickelson has done.
He never reached No.1 in the world, mainly because of Woods, partly because Mickelson was not on top of his game when Woods fell off and created an opportunity. Then again, Mickelson never won a PGA Tour money title or was voted PGA Tour player of the year.
His hallmark is consistently great play, and it is unrivalled.
"It's pretty amazing given he was there into his 40s like that, with how much time is taken from golf with your family," Spieth said. "You're not as sharp because you're not doing it as often. I give him more credit in the last seven to 10 years."
- Doug Ferguson, Associated Press