Jordan Spieth has paid tribute to Phil Mickelson’s “incredible feat” of winning the PGA Championship at 50 years old, whilst also revealing that he and ‘Lefty’s’ relationship goes way back.
Phil Mickelson shocked the world of golf last week as he stormed to the PGA Championship to claim his sixth major title and become golf’s oldest-ever major winner.
Spieth, who was seeking to complete a career grand slam at the PGA Championship, admitted that he was one of those shocked onlookers as he doubted Mickelson’s ability to get the job done.
“It's just so difficult to be in contention for the first time in a while and be able to tap into that confidence to win,” said Spieth, speaking ahead of the Charles Schwab Challenge this week.
“It seems like all the great ones have that one left at the end. Maybe he thinks he's got more than one left. I don't think anybody will doubt him after this one, but I think it's just wild. I think it's incredible.
“To win a tournament, let alone a major championship, at 50 with how young and stacked the game has gotten is just an incredible feat. I think the way he handled Saturday and Sunday, to close that back out and remain in the lead, it was typical Phil.”
Asked about his relationship with Mickelson, 27-year-old Spieth harked back to the first time that he was paired with the 45-time PGA Tour winner in 2013.
“It was the final round of the Deutsche Bank, and I played really well,” added Spieth. “Then he went out and called Freddy Couples to help get me on to the President's Cup team. So, my first kind of playing with him encounter couldn't have gone any better.”
As it turns out, the pair’s relationship goes further back than that first official meeting eight years ago – Mickelson just didn’t know that at the time.
“I did, yeah and I still have it,” said Spieth when asked if he had ever got Mickelson’s autograph as a young fan. “I have the Sports Illustrated when he won the Masters, when he was in mid-air six feet off the ground, with his signature on it.
“I won it in an auction at like my sister's school when I was really young. I must have been like 12 or 13. I remember going out and following him because he would come to the Byron Nelson and play. I came to the Colonial a couple times in grade school as well, and he's always been good at this tournament.”