For the first time in 26 years, Phil Mickelson is not among the top 50 golfers in the world.
The five-time major champion and World Golf Hall of Famer will drop to 51st in the Official World Golf Ranking after his tie for 28th at the WGC-HSBC Champions in China coupled with the second-place finish of Shugo Imahira at a Japan Tour event.
Mickelson, 49, had been as high as 17th earlier this year after winning the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am for his 44th PGA Tour victory. But he hasn't finished better than a tie for 18th at the Masters since as his ranking has steadily fallen to a place it had not been since November 1993.
Then 23, Mickelson first cracked the top 50 after finishing second to Tom Lehman at the Casio World Open on Nov. 28, 1993. He spent 1,353 consecutive weeks in that company but never got to No. 1.
"I just haven't played well," Mickelson said earlier this week in China. "Just had a lot of stuff going on, and I just haven't been really focused and into the mental side. I haven't seen good, clear pictures. I haven't been as committed and as connected to the target. I just haven't been mentally as sharp the last six, eight months."
Mickelson went on a weight loss program earlier this year and has pledged to get his game back with hopes of making the 2020 U.S. Ryder Cup team. He is likely to miss the Presidents Cup next month, the first time since he made his first Presidents Cup in 1994 that Mickelson will not be part of a U.S. team.
Mickelson's top-50 streak is more than seven years longer than the next best of Ernie Els, who was in the top 50 for 965 weeks. Rory McIlroy, who won the HSBC to move closer to No. 1-ranked Brooks Koepka, now has the best active top-50 streak of 598 weeks -- or nearly 15 years behind Mickelson.