American legend Phil Mickelson and South African great Ernie Els will both make their 100th Major appearances in this week’s PGA Championship at Quail Hollow.
“Somebody told me last week that we have our 100th Major coming up. It just goes by so fast; you don’t think about it. It’s been a lot of fun. We get to play golf, what most people do on vacation, as our job, and it’s the greatest job in the world,” said Mickelson, who has five Majors on his resume.
The duo join 12 other golfing greats with 100 Majors or more, led by Jack Nicklaus who has 164 Major starts
“That’s a heck of a list right there. Those are all our mentors, our heroes. To be on that list and looking at those people’s careers is unbelievable,” noted Els, a four-time Major winner.
Mickelson and Els first played together in the 1984 World Junior Championship in San Diego, when the South African won the title over the hometown hero.
Mickelson recalled: “I remember a shot you hit in the final round on No. 3. It was a par 5 and you were about 20, 30 yards short of the green and you hit this little skipping, spinning wedge shot that checked up about a foot from the hole. That’s when I knew you were going to be a good player because I had not seen anybody else at 14 hit that shot. You went on to win that day. Beat me and the rest of the field!”
Players with 100 Majors and more:
Jack Nicklaus – 164
Gary Player – 150
Tom Watson – 145
Arnold Palmer – 143
Raymond Foyd – 127
Sam Snead – 118
Ben Crenshaw – 117
Gene Sarazen – 115
Tom Kite – 109
Mark O’Meara – 108
Bernhard Langer – 104
Nick Faldo – 100
Ernie Els – 100
Phil Mickelson – 100