Phil Mickelson did more than win the Masters on Sunday.
He changed his place in history.
Was it really just six years ago that we wondered if Mickelson would ever win a major championship?
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Now he's shouldered himself into the company of Tom Watson, Lee Trevino and a few others who didn't just win championships, they helped define the eras in which they played.
Mickelson now belongs among the best players in history.
Sure, he is 10 major championship victories behind Tiger Woods, but Mickelson happened to come along at the same time Haley's comet arrived. And he's found a way to share the sky.
What Mickelson did over four memorable days was redefine himself. He was already a special player, gifted with sublime and sometimes reckless talent.
At this Masters, against a backdrop of heartache, uncertainty and hope, Mickelson became a player for the ages. He reached out and tugged us all along with him, shot by shot, moment by moment, thrill by thrill.
Mickelson has a gift, and it's not just his ability to hit a 207-yard 6-iron off the pine straw to a green that has broken more hearts than a homecoming queen. He has the gift of taking us with him.
There was a time when Mickelson was labeled a phony, a guy who smiled too often and whose sincerity was as thin as his major championship résumé. Over time, however, we've come to find out the Mickelson we see is the real deal.
He has, as best he can, opened his arms and let the world in. Mickelson has made us scratch our heads and rub our eyes at times, but he has remained forever Phil.
If we didn't initially come to him, we have now. He had us at Amen Corner.
With all due respect to the other great players of his age, excepting Tiger Woods, Mickelson has separated himself.
Ernie Els has won three major championships. What do you remember about them other than he won them?
The same goes for Vijay Singh.
Padraig Harrington has three majors, and, perhaps because they're fresher in our minds, he seems the most capable of ascending the all-time ladder with Mickelson than anyone else.
Mickelson's wins have come with star dust.
He won the 2004 Masters with a leap and a smile as wide as the Georgia sky. He won the PGA at Baltusrol with the moxie to tap on a brass plate remembering what Jack Nicklaus did there before him. Then he won again at Augusta, proving the first time wasn't a fluke.
Now he's in a place where few others have gone. Mickelson has the trophies to go with the hearts he has won.
Late Sunday afternoon, Mickelson's caddie, the great Jim "Bones" Mackay, said it may be the sweetest of all of his boss' victories, and he was right.
This Masters, start to finish, could have been the best one ever played. It started with Woods' return to the game, celebrated 60-year-old Tom Watson and 50-year-old Fred Couples, reminded us of what we were missing while Woods was away and, ultimately, cultivated the Mickelson legend.
Years from now, they'll be talking about this week at the Masters when Woods came back and Couples challenged and Westwood was there.
Most of all they'll talk about Mickelson and what he did.
That's how we remember the great ones.