There are plenty of reasons why golf entering the Olympics is a great thing, but not a lot of people thought it would be such an important thing that the second most popular golfer in the world would be circling that date on his calendar three years in advance.
Phil Mickelson, talking with Callaway's Harry Arnett during one the "Callaway Talks" segments, said that next year's U.S. Open is a a focus of his in hopes of completing the career Grand Slam, but there is something else out there that he wants to make happen before his career is over.
Mickelson wants to play in the Olympics.
Mickelson said flat out in the interview (starts at the 10 minute mark), "I want to be an Olympic athlete," continuing with, "I think it would be really cool. I think it would be a life experience. It would be something that I never thought would happen because golf’s never been in the Olympics."
The problem with Phil and the Olympics is that Father Time waits for no man and Mickelson will be 46 by the time the 2016 Olympics kick off in Brazil. Still, if there is ever a late bloomer to this whole dominating the professional golfing world thing, it's Mickelson, who has won two of his five majors since turing 39 including that incredible final round at the British Open earlier this season.
I'll be completely honest, this is the first time I'm hearing one of the top golfers in the world not only mention the Olympics but say it is something they are already looking forward to, but I guess if you're Phil, and have won at the level he has won at, the goals he hasn't reached yet are few and far between (U.S. Open title, Olympic gold, and world No. 1, I'm assuming).
I think the best way for the Olympics to make a splash with golf is to make sure that the American team is as marquee as it can be, so I'm assuming that if Tiger Woods and Phil could somehow be paired it would bring a lot of eyeballs to the return of golf to the podium stand.
No matter what, I guess any athlete would love to have one of those Olympic medals in their trophy case before they hang up their spikes for the last time, and for Phil I hope he at least gets the chance to represent the United States in '16.
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