Skip to main content

Mickelson 'deserves Hall of Fame slot'

May 8, 2012 -- Updated 0910 GMT (1710 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Phil Mickelson is inducted into golf's Hall of Fame on Monday
  • 'Lefty' has won four major titles and 40 PGA Tour crowns in his 20-year career
  • Mickelson has never held the world No. 1 ranking largely due to Tiger Woods' dominance
  • Golf expert David Dusek says Mickelson is one of the best players of his generation

(CNN) -- There is much debate in the world of golf as to whether four-time major winner Phil Mickelson deserves his place in the game's Hall of Fame, but journalist David Dusek is in no doubt.

The deputy editor of Golf.com has told CNN World Sport there should be no doubt Mickelson's pedigree befits the accolade, calling the 41-year-old one of the best players of his generation.

There has been criticism in some quarters that given his age, Mickelson is too young to take his place in the pantheon of greats who have graced the sport despite a 20-year top-level career.

Others have pointed to the fact that, incredibly, he has never held the top spot in golf's world rankings.

Fowler finally comes of age with first PGA Tour title

But Dusek disagrees and thinks the player -- known affectionately by fans as "Lefty" -- still has a few major championships left in the tank.

Mickelson helps kids succeed in school

"Phil absolutely deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. He's one of the great players of his generation," Dusek said ahead of Mickelson's induction on Monday.

"He won four major championships in the era when one guy, namely Tiger Woods, won 14 of them. He was well seated at number two in the world for a quite a while.

"The fact that he has been a stalwart of eight Ryder Cup teams, eight Presidents Cup teams, he has 40 (PGA Tour) wins -- all these numbers are Hall of Fame-worthy material."

The debate over Mickelson's worthiness will be replicated in the coming years, according to Dusek, given that Woods reigned supreme over the game for such a long period.

"Tiger has skewed things quite a bit," he said. "If Tiger Woods wasn't there Phil and many other players, like Ernie Els, would have won more titles.

Phil absolutely deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. He's one of the great players of his generation
David Dusek

"We're going to run into several players now that will be Hall of Fame candidates in the next few years who were not number one in the world.

"Phil Mickelson is one of the first ones. If you look at the body of work for someone like Mickelson, he definitely gets in. The question mark will come soon. What happens with a player like Jim Furyk or Colin Montgomerie?

Bubba Watson: Golf's new genius superstar?

"You're going to have to take into consideration that attaining the world number one ranking from the late 1990s through the late 2000s was going to be very difficult for anyone to do, yet they could be a fantastic golfer and Mickelson fits the bill."

Mickelson was in contention to win a fourth Masters title at Augusta last month, but fell short after a disappointing final round. However, he can still boast one PGA Tour victory this season -- at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am back in February.

Dusek believes Mickelson still has the game to challenge for more titles -- and more majors.

"Mickelson showed on the PGA Tour (at Pebble Beach) that he is capable of playing fantastic golf," he said.

"The fact his putting has been much, much better this season than it has been for a few seasons is a great sign and certainly when he gets back to Augusta next year he could easily go for a fourth Masters. He could have won this year.

"I would not be the least bit surprised if Phil Mickelson wins another major title, possibly a few more."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
November 12, 2014 -- Updated 1129 GMT (1929 HKT)
"Sleep, as far as mental and physical recovery goes, has never been more important ..." says sport sleep coach Nick Littlehales.
November 4, 2014 -- Updated 1024 GMT (1824 HKT)
Joe Miller is devouring his second steak of the day and the clock has barely nudged 2pm. You need lots of fuel to smash a drive 474 yards.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 1449 GMT (2249 HKT)
There have been many dark days for Oliver Wilson, but golf's unluckiest loser is finally riding an upward swing of his career roller coaster.
October 7, 2014 -- Updated 1648 GMT (0048 HKT)
They dress like it's the 1930s and they swing antique equipment that eschews cutting-edge technology -- this is hickory golf.
September 15, 2014 -- Updated 1609 GMT (0009 HKT)
CNN's Living Golf focuses on women's golf, charting the growth of the sport from royal pastime to multi-million dollar machine.
October 1, 2014 -- Updated 0846 GMT (1646 HKT)
"I don't know how to paint happy," says golf's poster girl Michelle Wie. "I think it releases a lot of the darker feelings in me."
September 29, 2014 -- Updated 1213 GMT (2013 HKT)
Phil Mickelson of the United States talks during a press conference after the United States were defeated by Europe after the Singles Matches of the 2014 Ryder Cup on the PGA Centenary course at the Gleneagles Hotel on September 28, 2014 in Auchterarder, Scotland.
If you're a U.S. golf fan, or Tom Watson, look away now.
September 25, 2014 -- Updated 2318 GMT (0718 HKT)
A ban on uploading social media pictures from the course at Gleneagles was dropped for the Ryder Cup.
September 24, 2014 -- Updated 1052 GMT (1852 HKT)
A spot of shopping, the odd spa day and some serious flag waving. Welcome to the life of a Ryder Cup WAG.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 1301 GMT (2101 HKT)
Tom Watson has learned plenty in the 21 years since he was last U.S. Ryder Cup captain, but social media is proving to be problematic.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1243 GMT (2043 HKT)
Patriotism will reach fever pitch when the USA and Europe collide in golf's Ryder Cup ... and it looks like Rickie Fowler has let it go to his head.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1342 GMT (2142 HKT)
Pressure is inescapable in the cauldron of Ryder Cup competition -- pressure and ping pong.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 1150 GMT (1950 HKT)
Millions of golf fans were watching on television with great anticipation. All Martin Kaymer could think about was getting his phone out.
ADVERTISEMENT