Phil Mickelson changed the game of golf on Sunday, winning the PGA Championship at age 50, and he credits his place in history to a health-conscious lifestyle of deep meditation and good nutrition.
The three-time winner of The Masters said he found Zen: “Just the ability to calm my mind and get rid of all the noise outside. I don’t want to get all spiritual, but it’s kind of the most important to me. “
Nicknamed “Lefty,” eating right has also played a role in its success. “I have to eat a lot less and I have to eat better. I just can’t eat that much and I have to let my body recover, ”he said. “But it’s also a blessing for me because I feel better, I don’t have inflammation and I wake up fine. It is a sacrifice worth making. “
TIGER WOODS, JACK NICKLAUS LEADS THE REACTIONS TO PHIL MICKELSON’S HISTORIC WIN AT PGA CHAMPIONSHIP
His tee shot on Sunday in the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island landed just yards from the fairway, but it was still tucked away among the people – the gallery tight between the ropes and a row of hospitality tents – shouting the name of their aging hero.
After Mickelson’s approach shot took hold on the green, securing the 50-year-old to become the longest-serving major champion in history, the crowd completely engulfed him.
“It’s an incredible experience. I’ve never had anything like it, ”Mickelson said. “It was a bit confusing, but it was also exceptionally awesome. “
The records Mickelson shattered on Sunday were numerous. Julius Boros held the distinction of oldest major golf champion for 53 years. He was 48 when he won the PGA Championship in 1968.
Mickelson became the first player in PGA Tour history to win tournaments 30 years apart. The first of his 45 titles dates back to 1991, when he was still a junior at Arizona State.
Mickelson joined Tiger Woods – who sent a congratulatory tweet – among the 10 players who have won majors in three decades.
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“There is no reason why golf cannot be the game of a lifetime if you take care of your body and do it the right way,” said Mickelson.
Mickelson – happy at home and injury free – has only pushed the boundaries of what is possible after half a century on Earth.
“There is no reason why I or anyone else cannot do it later. It just takes a little more work, ”said Mickelson.
Was Sunday the denouement of this veteran, sentimental favorite?
“It’s very possible that this will be the last tournament I win. Like I’m a realist, ”Mickelson said. “But it’s also very possible that I had a little breakthrough in some of my goals and maybe I’ll go running a bit. “
The Associated Press contributed to this report.