Until 2004 at The Masters, when Mickelson finally won that first major championship.
He did it in fine style, too, making birdies on five of the final seven holes of the tournament. The first four birdies got him into a tie with Ernie Els, who was on the practice putting green, anticipating a playoff, when Mickelson teed off on the 72nd hole.
Mickelson's approach was good, his ball settling 18 feet from the cup. The slightly downhill putt snaked its way toward the hole, and dropped in. Mickelson leapt into the air, arms raised, legs akimbo, a look of joy on his face. Then he mouthed the words, "I did it!" to his caddie.
He did it, indeed: Phil Mickelson was finally a major championship winner.
Top 5 at the 2004 Masters
Phil Mickelson, 72-69-69-69--279
Ernie Els, 70-72-71-67--280
K.J. Choi, 71-70-72-69--282
Bernhard Langer, 71-73-69-72--285
Sergio Garcia, 72-72-75-66--285