The New Leaf Annex

My Unique Phil Mickelson Article

The tagline of my main project, The New Leaf Journal, is "where the leaves are perennially virid." As I explained in a post on the inspiration for the tagline, the slogan gets at two ideas. The first is that I try to write evergreen articles. The second is that I try to produce unique articles worth your time. There is no shortage of writing online. Some of the writing even comes from the keyboards of human beings writing in a language they are fluent in. While I try to bring a fresh perspective to all of my articles, I cannot always say that my topics are unique. However, I published a short "leaflet" aside yesterday which I think is unique.

I used to regularly watch professional golf. While I have not watched much golf in several years, I stay somewhat abreast of the goings on. Back in 2021, Phil Mickelson became the oldest golfer to win a major championship at the PGA, capturing the title at 50 years, 11 months, and 7 days. He broke the 53-year record of Julius Boros at the 1968 PGA, who had been 48 years and 4 months old. That inspired me to write an article about the golfers who, between Boros's and Mickelson's triumphs at the PGA Championship 53 years apart, had previously challenged the record. In order to qualify, the golfer had to have been older than Boros at the conclusion of the major (occurring between the 1968 and 2021 PGAs) and have either finished in the top five or, if outside the top five, have been within 5 shots of the winner. My criteria yielded only 16 challengers to Boros's record prior to Mr. Mickelson's breaking it.

In my section on Mr. Mickelson's victory at the 2021 PGA, I noted that I would not be surprised to see him challenge his own record. That turned out to be a good prediction. Mr. Mickelson not only challenged his record, but he was also the first to do so within the confines I set for inclusion on the list of runs at Boros's record, with the only change being the higher age bar. Mr. Mickelson finished in a tie for second place at the 2023 Masters, four shots behind the champion. He was out of contention going into the final round after a poor third round, but his 7-under 65 shot him up to the leaderboard, and it may well have been enough had the eventual winner, Jon Rahm, slipped up on the back nine.

Not wanting to deprive our readers of the opportunity to learn about how I made I good prediction, I published my leaflet on Mr. Mickelson's runner-up and added a note to my original 2021 article on challenges to Boros's former record. You may wonder why I think that this Leaflet is unique. Surely, there are many articles online about Mr. Mickelson's surprising run at the 2023 Masters. I submit that my article is perhaps the only article on the entire internet since early 2022 to write about Phil Mickelson without mentioning Saudi Arabia or the LIV Tour.

#golf #nlj