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Will Phil Mickelson's 26-year run in world's top 50 end at WGC-HSBC Champion?

Phil Mickelson's incredible run in the world’s top 50 is in danger of coming to an end this week at the WGC-HSBC Champions.

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Mickelson clung onto 50th position in the latest Official World Golf Rankings despite not featuring at the Zozo Championship, extending his spell in the world's top 50 to a staggering 1,351 weeks.

The 49-year-old was up to 17th in the standings after registering the most recent of his 44 PGA Tour titles in February at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, although has since tumbled down the rankings after experience the worst form of his professional career in recent months.

Image: Mickelson is a two-time winner of the WGC-HSBC Champions, most recently in 2009

His only worldwide top-30 finish in 19 events since Pebble Beach victory came at the Masters, where he claimed a share of 18th as Tiger Woods celebrated a 15th major title, with Mickelson's next-best performance being a tied-31st result in his last start at the CJ Cup earlier this month.

"I just haven't played well," Mickelson said ahead of playing at Sheshan International Golf Club. "Just had a lot of stuff going on and I just haven't been really focused and into the mental side.

Image: Mickelson finished tied-15th at the WGC-HSBC Champions in 2017

"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.

"I've played terribly this year and even if I were to win this week, I do not deserve or warrant a pick for the Presidents Cup. There's much better players who have played better throughout the year.

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"I intend to come back strong, play well and get back on the Ryder Cup team next year."

Mickelson has been ever-present in the top 50 since a runner-up finish at the Casio World Open in November 1993, when three of the world's current top 50 weren't even born and four more were less than a year old.

WGC-HSBC: R1 tee times
WGC-HSBC: R1 tee times

Tee times for the opening round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai.

Former world No 1s Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth were both born in 1993, as were defending Shanghai champion Xander Schauffele and Bryson DeChambeau, while Mickelson's run is longer than the time Jon Rahm, Matt Fitzpatrick and Sungae Im have all been alive.

Should Mickelson's run in the top 50 come to an end this week, then Rory McIlroy's streak of 571 consecutive weeks will become the new longest run.

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Matt Kuchar and Dustin Johnson go into the week having spent the last 512 and 508 weeks respectively in the world's top 50, while Justin Rose has been inside that number for the past 491 weeks and Jason Day for 479.

Watch the WGC-HSBC Champions throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage begins on Thursday from 2am on Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event.

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