GULLANE, Scotland – Earlier this year, GolfChannel.com had fun with a little project we called “Golf’s Ultimate Match Play Championship.” Our editors and writers sat in a room for hours and came up with, what we believed, were the top 16 players in the history of the game. We then seeded them and slotted them into a match-play bracket.
Here were our seeds for the project that we released in February.
Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Ben Hogan, Bobby Jones, Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, Byron Nelson, Walter Hagen, Gary Player, Tom Watson, Gene Sarazen, Billy Casper, Lee Trevino, Nick Faldo, Seve Ballesteros and Phil Mickelson.
We did not manipulate the pairings, meaning we didn’t slide a player to a certain seed just to ensure a better first-round matchup.
So, with this list in mind, where would Mickelson move now that he collected his fifth major championship? It certainly proves that he's capable of winning anywhere, which is not something we necessarily believed five days ago.
The victory, in my mind, moves him ahead of Ballesteros and Faldo for certain. I’m even inclined to move him ahead of Trevino and Casper. An argument can be made that he’s better, historically, than Gene Sarazen, but he probably needs to win one more major for that slot.
So, based on our list, and I think it’s a solid one, Mickelson would now be the 12th best player of all time.