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Mickelson's bold approach lands in Hall

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Phil Mickelson has won four major championships and let just as many get away.

In contention at the Masters, he boldly played a 6-iron through a tiny gap in the pines trees that barely cleared Rae's Creek and settled some 4 feet away. In contention at Augusta National this year, Lefty played consecutive shots right-handed on his way to a triple bogey.

He won Colonial by hitting a shot through the trees and over the water. He lost a chance to win Bay Hill by trying to hit 4-iron under the trees and over the water.

He played a Masters with two drivers in his bag and a U.S. Open with no driver.

Mickelson will be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame on Monday along with four others, taking an undisputed place among the best who ever played this game.

His 42 wins worldwide include three Masters, a PGA Championship and two World Golf Championships. Beyond his trophies, Mickelson is wildly popular with the fans for the way he engages them on the golf course and spends hours signing autographs. For every story about his generosity, there probably are dozens more that never get told.

Geoff Ogilvy, who won the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot after Mickelson took double bogey on the final hole, was asked the first thing he would say about Mickelson's legacy. Not surprisingly, he had to think about it.

"There's only one Phil, isn't there?" Ogilvy concluded. "He's astonishingly talented. Incredibly talented. And very human. There have been a lot of superstars with kind of this never-do-anything-wrong persona. He's had as much written about stuff he wasn't happy with than the good stuff."

That's the way "Phil the Thrill" likes to play.

Two years before Mickelson finally won his first major at the Masters, he defended his approach of taking on any shot without fear, each one a calculated risk. He said he would never change, even if he never won a major, because "that's how I play my best golf."

Also to be inducted at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla., are two-time major champion Sandy Lyle, three-time U.S. Women's Open champion Hollis Stacy, writer Dan Jenkins and British broadcaster Peter Alliss.

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