Phil Mickelson’s Legacy Suffers Big Hit From Rory McIlroy as Irishman’s Relentless Attack Continues

Rory McIlroy has once again chased down Phil Mickelson. The Ulsterman shot a 5-under 66 at Valhalla to tie for the fourth spot as of the time the report went to publication. This was McIlroy’s 19th round at the majors at or under 66. Tiger Woods is the only one ahead, at 28. And Phil Mickelson has played 18 rounds at 66 or lower. 

Justin Ray tweeted that in the last 30 seasons, only three players have been near Woods in terms of scoring 66 or below at a Major. Phil Mickelson and Brooks Koepka round off the top four. McIlroy’s first round at the 2024 PGA Championship included six birdies. The lone bogey came at the par-4, 17th. The Ulsterman is four shots away from the lead. 

Whereas, Lefty opened his round with a bogey on the first hole, followed by a double. The front nine was relatively drama-free, with two birdies on the par-5, 7th, and the par-3, 8th. The HyFlyers captain is 1-over through 9th as of the moment the report went to publication. 


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Rory McIlroy: 19th career round of 66 or lower in major championships

Most rounds of 66 or better in majors, last 30 seasons:Tiger Woods, 28Rory McIlroy, 19Phil Mickelson, 18

Brooks Koepka, 17

— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGolf) May 16, 2024

At 35, Rory McIlroy will have plenty of majors to play to keep increasing the tally. On the other hand, Phil Mickelson, 53, hinted that he was at the last leg of his career. The 45-time PGA Tour winner has moved his focus to creating YouTube golf content. ‘Pros vs. Schmos’, the veteran golfer has named his newest venture of the nine-hole tournament against pros with insightful commentaries accompanying them.  


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Nevertheless, the way the Ulsterman is going, in the next ten years, he is likely to stay way ahead of Phil Mickelson. The only milestone remaining is still a bit far off for McIlroy. Lefty has 45 victories on the PGA Tour. McIlroy is 19 behind the veteran after knocking off two back-to-back victories at the Zurich Classic and the Wells Fargo Championship. Moreover, the Northern Irish pro looks to unseat Phil Mickelson from a crucial position at the PGA Tour. 

Rory McIlroy might replace Phil Mickelson on the money list soon

Phil Mickelson, in his three-decade-long career on the PGA Tour, has bagged somewhere around $96 million. The six-time Major champion is still second on the PGA Tour money list, after Tiger Woods. Mickelson has made 534 cuts out of which 138 were top-5 finishes, including 38 runner-ups. Rory McIlroy, thanks to his 218 cuts made in 248 tournaments, has earned $86 million, just $10 million shy of Lefty.


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In Mickelson’s defense, during the time he played the best golf of his career, the purse size was much lower than what it is now. The $20 million purse Signature event has $3.6–$4 million reserved for the winner. If McIlroy can manage another Signature event victory, he will close the gap further.

Notably, Phil Mickelson, per reports, has a nine-figure contract with LIV Golf, which apparently runs to $200 million. Lefty by virtue of being the HyFlyers captain, is also immune to relegation, which means he can continue earning money on the breakaway side. But in his old Tour, Rory McIlroy seems to be taking the second spot behind Tiger Woods in many key areas in the near future. 

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