Golf legend Phil Mickelson has revealed impressive details about his sudden weight loss as he plans to return to his professional career.
The 52-year-old has become a controversial figure in golf, nearly a year after his explosive remarks about the Saudi-funded LIV golf series caused an uproar.
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He totally lost his way on the cycle, too, in 2022 – giving him a fresh start to get back on top of the game.
Mickelson headlined the press Monday at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club ahead of his return to the Saudi International and wowed golf commentators with his slender build.
Mickelson confirmed during the press conference that he had indeed undergone weight reduction.
The 45-time PGA Tour winner said it’s the weakest it’s been in decades.
“I have a completely different energy, a completely different excitement,” he said.
“I’m rejuvenated. Best shape I’ve been in a long time. I’m back in my kidney weight. It allows me to recover faster after I play.”
Mickelson shied away from giving details of his weight loss when asked by reporters.
“It’s my weight in college.” He said.
“We don’t need to go into numbers, but I’m back where I was when I turned pro. This is the first time that’s ever happened.”
His appearance came as a shock to many.
He said his game is similar to his trimmed physique and he believes he can still win major tournaments.
Earlier, Mickelson said he was “at peace” if he never participated in a PGA Tour event or Ryder Cup again,
In an interview with Sports Illustrated published Monday, the six-time winner said he wasn’t bothered by the prospect of being ruled out of PGA Tour events forever.
Mickelson was suspended by the PGA Tour last year after being one of the first big names to defect from the controversial LIV circuit.
The 52-year-old embraced LIV despite telling an American journalist that the department’s Saudi backers were “intimidating” with an “appalling” human rights record.
Mickelson said in June last year that he hoped to participate in the League tour again. But in his remarks to Sports Illustrated, the veteran said he was now indifferent to playing on the circuit again.
“If I don’t participate in another PGA Tour event, I’m completely at peace with it,” said Mickelson.
The American said that while he believed pending litigation against the PGA Tour might allow him to legally return to the circuit, he planned to “cut back” the number of events while prioritizing the majors.
“I’m excited, but I don’t see the point in playing more,” said the 45-time PGA Tour winner.
“The tournaments where you’re going to make a mark are the majors. It creates a memory for life. If I win another round, who cares? It’s not like it’s going to do anything for how I look at my career.”
“The other major would be a unique and special moment. This is really where I want to thrive. And for sure, winning some LIV events means a lot because of the role it plays as it was created.”
Meanwhile, Mickelson agreed there could be an uneasy atmosphere at the Champions Dinner at the Masters in April, when loyal LIV Golf critics including Tiger Woods will dine alongside some of the biggest names on the junior circuit.
Asked if he expected an awkwardness or discomfort at dinner, Mickelson added: “It could be something very good, but it’s not on my part. I’m very comfortable with where I am.”
– With AFP