Tuesday, May 25

The Superpower That Made Phil Mickelson a Major Champion at the Ripe Old Age of 50

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WHILE THE WORLD IS MOVING ON, I'm still processing Phil Mickelson's historic victory at the PGA Championship on Kiawah Island.

Unfortunately, I didn't see much of it. Or I'd say fortunately because I was visiting my daughter and son-in-law in Atlanta. (It's wonderful to reconnect with family and travel again.)

Through the years my standard comment on Phil Mickelson is that he always surprises us. Most of them are good surprises. Some are not. The PGA Championship was probably the best surprise of all. Oldest major winner and on and on and on.

On Sunday evening when I was trying to find my way to Breaks Interstate Park on the Virginia-Kentucky border, my phone started chirping. Texts, photos and emails arrived as Phil walked up 18 at the Ocean Course and completed the task of becoming the first 50-something to hoist a major championship trophy. Late that night I opened my laptop and watched the highlights.

Mickelson's win was surely inspirational. And not just for older people, as Twitter affirmed. Phil showed us what's possible at 50 in golf, but I think he has also learned a lot about himself recently, based on his comments and things I've read.

He still loves the game. He still loves to compete. Apparently, he has worked very hard (maybe harder than ever) to stick around and be relevant. He can't coast on talent or experience or his other-worldly short game. It's not nearly enough against today's crop of elite players.

Arguably most important of all, Phil decided he could win another major. At 50. He believed. That's the ultimate superpower. May his achievement spur on others in their small and large endeavors.

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