Golf: Tough Question - Who's had a better career: Phil Mickelson or Rory McIlroy?

Discussion in 'General Sports' started by GOATofGOATs1987, Aug 13, 2018.

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Who's had a better career: Phil Mickelson or Rory McIlroy?

This poll will close on Mar 13, 2019 at 9:54 PM.
  1. Phil

    77.8%
  2. Rory

    22.2%
  3. Even

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. GOATofGOATs1987

    GOATofGOATs1987 Registered User

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    Pros for Mickelson:
    - One more slam
    - Significantly more Overall Titles
    - One more WGC Title
    - Great longevity
    - More top 2/5/10 finishes at slams and overall tournaments (although Phil's played in wayyy more of them)
    - Excellent College/Amateur Career
    - Played in the Tiger era
    - Won 3 Masters Tournaments

    Pros for McIlroy:
    - Almost 100 more weeks at number one
    - 2x Year End Number One
    - 2x PGA Player of the Year
    - 2x Annual Money Leader
    - 2-slam season
    - Won a FedEx Cup
    - Won more individual tournaments in the FedEx Cup
    - 2 Vardon/Byron Nelson Trophies
    - Better Cuts made percentage/ratio
    - Better Slam and overall title conversion rate
    - Got to 4 slams way before Mickelson
    - Was the simultaneous number 1 player in both the PGA and European Tour
    - Won his majors in much more dominant fashion
    - Higher Peak over the field and has a better career scoring average

    Both won 3 of the 4 slams, and have come agonizingly close to winning the career slam a few times prior.

    This is a close one
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2018
  2. Paris in Flames

    Paris in Flames Registered User

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    Phil pretty easily imo. His accolade list takes a real hit since he played with prime Tiger but in 20-30 years I expect more people to be talking about Phil than Rory.
     
  3. Pavel Buchnevich

    Pavel Buchnevich AV AND GORTON OUT

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    Rory. Phil will end up with less wins and majors playing in a weaker era. Never #1 either. Rory should end up as the best European golfer ever. Best non-American golfer also is possible, although he'd really have to get going to surpass Player.
     
  4. GOATofGOATs1987

    GOATofGOATs1987 Registered User

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    I think it still might be Phil FOR NOW due to his totality since Rory's still quite young for a golfer, but the biggest hole in Phil's resume BY FAR is that he never even had one standout banner year where he was head and shoulders above everyone else (like Rory was in 2012 and 2014 or Speith in 2015 or even Vijay Singh in 2004). There was also never a single span in lefty's career where he looked like "the guy" to beat on tour, while Rory's already had a couple stretches and even seasons in his young career where he looked undisputedly superior to the rest of the field.

    That pretty much explains why lefty sort of lacks all the accolades that other golfers have won (i.e. Money Leaders, PGA Player of the Year Awards, being or finishing the year as world number one, winning multiple majors in a year, Vardon/Byron Nelson Trophies, FedEx Cups, etc..)
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2018
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  5. Dr John Carlson

    Dr John Carlson Light is all over us

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    Phil by many miles. Rory's biggest edge is his world #1 statuses, which wouldn't have happened playing against peak Tiger.
     
  6. JetsWillFly4Ever

    JetsWillFly4Ever Registered User

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    At the end of their career it will be Rory, right now, it's close. Phil did have to deal with prime Tiger so that counts for something, although overall the level of golf has gotten higher since imo.
     
  7. tony d

    tony d Registered User Sponsor

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    Both have had good careers but this is Phil Mickelson.
     
  8. Shattenhurts

    Shattenhurts Rebuilding.

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    I personally don't think you can adequately compare someone who has 26 years of accolades with someone who has 11. I will say, when all is said and done, I predict Rory's to be better - assuming health stays in tact.

    Phil had to deal with Tiger (1 dominant star), yes, but Rory has had to (and will continue to) deal with many top-level golfers to compete with that can dominate any and every given week.
     
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  9. Pavel Buchnevich

    Pavel Buchnevich AV AND GORTON OUT

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    If we are talking about currently, probably Phil, but Rory has like another 15 years. One win per year and another two majors, and he’s better than Phil statistically.

    Unless we are going to act like Phil had more than a couple of events stolen from him by the dominant player of his era, losing statically should tip this pretty clearly in Rory’s favor. Besides, Phil played in the two worst eras of modern golf. He caught the tail end of the late 80’s to early 90’s era that literally had no all timers. And then he got to play in what was an era that had huge breaks in the tiers and very little depth in quality talent for the majority of his career from the late 90’s until around the last couple of years.
     
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  10. GOATofGOATs1987

    GOATofGOATs1987 Registered User

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    That's pretty much why I can't let Phil off the hook for never dominating, and being world number one. A lot of ppl will say he never got to dominate and be "the guy to beat" on tour the way players like Spieth and McIlroy have because of peak Tiger and for the most part they're not wrong, but there's also been more than one occasion in Phil's career where the door was open for him to dominate. He had time in the pre-Tiger era where he could've elevated himself to number one status, but he couldn't. There was also 2003-04 where Tiger slumped a bit and the door was opening for others to get to the top, with Phil leading the chrage, but instead it was Vijay Singh who took over and not Phil. Then there was the gap between the Tiger era and the new generation around 2010-11 where Phil could've handily took the "best player in the world" moniker and ran with it, but he didn't. The fact that he never had season(s) where he was the consensual best player in the world really hurts his value when comparing him to other great golfers around his calibre.
     
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  11. SUX2BU

    SUX2BU Hey, pull my finger .....

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    Phil .....
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2018
  12. Dr Pepper

    Dr Pepper Registered User

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    Definitely Phil.
     
  13. Baxterman

    Baxterman Registered User

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    I have a bit of an issue with the #1 ranking as I am not sure it is the best way to determine who is the best or how relevant it is. For example after Tigers run the #1 spot was Westwood (17 weeks), Kaymer (8), Westwood (5), Donald (40) then Rory and Donald going back and forth. Maybe I am misremembering but I do not remember thinking any of those outside of maybe Rory were the best golfer of that time. I mean Luke Donald for 40 weeks is a long time and I doubt anyone thought of him as the dominate golfer of the time.

    And the time that Rory was clearly best player in the world was fairly short. Otherwise I don't think he was above guys like Speith, DJ, Day even if he did reach #1 officially.

    Right now I think it is clearly Mickelson but that is in large part because of longevity. I think Rory has a very good shot at catching and passing him when all is said and done.
     
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  14. Dr John Carlson

    Dr John Carlson Light is all over us

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    I just don't see it in Rory anymore, to be honest. I like him as a player and a person, and he's probably my favourite of the game's elites. But he's got so much to work on right now with his wedges/putting, and I get the feeling that he might not have the motivation or commitment to hunker down and figure things out. Which is sad, since Rory's best is probably better than anybody else's best.
     
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  15. Pavel Buchnevich

    Pavel Buchnevich AV AND GORTON OUT

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    Rory's had a better year than he gets credit for.

    He's fifth in OWGR points gained this year, and I'm pretty sure he was first prior to the Open. I think if he closed out some tournaments better the perception around his year would be very different. He's been consistently good.

    I think its fair to say that you'd expect a four time major winner to be winning more often with that many times in contention, but from round to round he's actually been pretty good this season. There's a clear difference in his play this year as opposed to last year. And I have no issue if someone wants to critique the lack of recent majors or one win in two years, but Rory's been one of the five or so best this year, and with a good finish to the year he could be looked at as the best golfer in the world during 2018.
     
  16. daver

    daver Registered User

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    A cursory look at the golf rankings sees Phil as likely having more weeks at #1 than Rory did if not for Tiger and a somewhat comfortable position as the #2 golfer during Tiger's era/since the early 90's (Els would be 3rd, IMO). Like most here, I think Rory has gotten off to the clearly better career start but needs more to pass Phil's career. Rory has the chance to break into the Top 5-10 golfers all-time if he can get back to his 2012/2014 form, Phil has an argument for Top 15 to 20.
     
  17. Pavel Buchnevich

    Pavel Buchnevich AV AND GORTON OUT

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    Phil has a good argument for top 10. I get he only has 5 majors and if you judge purely on that he may only be around top 15-20, but thats still a good haul, and his top 10 record in majors is very impressive. He could also still be one of the few ever to complete the career grand slam.

    Definitely agree that Rory could get to top 5, but its dependent on his form for the next 15-20 years.
     
  18. daver

    daver Registered User

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    Good points. He actually has the 3rd most runnerups in Majors. Top Ten sounds reasonable although it is hard to put him ahead of any of the eleven golfers with seven or more majors:

    List of men's major championships winning golfers - Wikipedia
     

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