By Andrew Both
KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. (Reuters) – Phil Mickelson is just not the primary middle-aged particular person to change his weight-reduction plan and interact in brain training in a quest to really feel and carry out higher, however he’s the primary to win a major golf championship after turning 50.
While Mickelson’s efficiency on the PGA Championship may not open the floodgates to a sudden glut of Senior Tour-eligible winners, it not less than will present additional proof to these creeping up in age that it’s not too late to pad these profession resumes with one other major victory.
“There’s no reason why golf can’t be the game for a lifetime if you take care of your body and do it the right way,” the Californian mentioned after beating Brooks Koepka and Louis Oosthuizen by two strokes at Kiawah Island on Sunday.
Old geezers main deep into majors is just not precisely uncommon. Consider Tom Watson had one hand on the Claret Jug on the age of 59 till he bogeyed the ultimate gap and then misplaced a playoff on the 2009 British Open.
Mickelson describes that efficiency by Watson as “inspiring” and “one of the greatest in the sport.”
The earlier yr, tremendous match Greg Norman, then 53, had the 54-hole lead on the British Open.
And again in 1998, Jack Nicklaus contended deep into the ultimate spherical of the Masters on the age of 58 after having gained it at age 46 in 1986.
On Sunday, whereas Mickelson was rewriting history, 49-year-old Padraig Harrington quietly earned a share of fourth place.
These had been all nice gamers and a number of major winners, able to rising to the event for one final shot at glory when the celebs aligned.
Mickelson is a younger 50, not simply by advantage of his health-conscious way of life, but additionally as a result of he has averted for probably the most half critical harm, however some arthritis, in addition to a damaged leg incurred in a snowboarding accident in 1994.
The six-time major winner is supple and sturdy sufficient to nonetheless generate prodigious clubhead pace, an prerequisite for maintaining with the kids as programs stretch ever longer, shut to 8,000 yards. He hit the longest drive all day on the sixteenth gap on Sunday.
Mickelson’s unsurpassed quick recreation additionally stays as sharp as ever.
As he returns his focus to subsequent month’s U.S. Open, the place he may have one other likelihood to grow to be the sixth participant to win the fashionable grand slam of all 4 majors, Mickelson will proceed the practices that bought him throughout the end line at Kiawah.
Asked how his brain training had helped, he mentioned: “Just the ability to kind of quiet my mind and get rid of all the exterior noise. I don’t want to get all spiritual, but that’s kind of been the biggest thing for me.”
And his weight-reduction plan?
“I’ve got to eat a lot less and I’ve got to eat better. I just can’t eat as much and I have to let my body recover,” he mentioned. “But it’s also been a blessing for me because I feel better and I don’t have inflammation and I wake up feeling good.
“It’s been a sacrifice value making.”
(Reporting by Andrew Both; Editing by Bill Berkrot)