It’s all go for January after the R&A and USGA published their finalised Rules of Golf. So what’s coming in? Steve Carroll outlines the changes.
"I want to be a 46-year-old Olympian," says Callaway Golfer Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson has admitted he hasn’t played anywhere near his best throughout the 2014 campaign, but has vowed to provide greater entertainment in the future as he chases the opportunity of a place in the Olympic Games.
As it stands, the American runs the very real possibility of ending a calendar year without a trophy in his cabinet – for only the fourth time in his incredible career.
But the Callaway man does admit to harbouring other ambitions outside of the usual season events, and that’s the chance of representing his country at the Olympics by expressing wanting to be a “46-year-old Olympian.”
Now ‘Lefty’ is primed to focus all his energy on a revival in form and fortune to be ready by January and complete the turnaround for the 2015/16 season.
Mickelson is nothing if not honest, and he hasn’t held back in scathing his own performances as of late, going as far as saying that a first win of 2014 wouldn’t make up for the poor season he has had. He said: “I don't even know if that would do it because it hasn't been a great year and I'm OK with that.”
The popular American ran Rory McIlroy close at the PGA Championship but had to settle for a second-placed finish and watch the Northern Irishman raise the trophy of his second major of the summer. For a proud golfer like Mickelson, that has to sting.
Now, however, Mickelson is looking to the future, and more importantly, the 2016 Olympics in Rio. He explained: “I'm actually more looking forward to 2015 and after these next few events, after the Ryder Cup, I'll probably take the rest of the year off, work on my fitness, work on my golf game and really focus on 2015 because 2015 is when the points start accumulating really for the Olympics.”
He added: "I don't know why that's important to me but it is. I want to be a 46-year-old Olympian. I think that would be pretty cool. So 2015 and 2016 are years I want to really focus on and I want to make sure I'm ready come January."
Mickelson is in his mid-40’s and may need to keep his momentum running outside of the regular major events if he’s to make an impact moving towards the Olympics.
The 2016 Olympic Games, hosted by Brazil in Rio de Janeiro, will be the perfect platform for the world to once again see golf as an entertaining and challenging sport and hopefully gain a new legion of fans in the process.