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Phil Mickelson Announces at PGA Championship He Has Psoriatic Arthritis

KOHLER, WI - AUGUST 10:  Phil Mickelson is interviewed by the media during a press conference during a practice round prior to the start of the 92nd PGA Championship on the Straits Course at Whistling Straits on August 10, 2010 in Kohler, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images
Ron FurlongAnalyst IIAugust 11, 2010

Phil Mickelson announced on Tuesday he has been diagnosed and is being treated for psoriatic arthitis.

The 40-year-old Mickelson said his symptoms came on right before this year's U.S. Open. He said the condition got worse and spread throughout his joints during the tournament and then on a family trip to Hawaii right after.

"That's when I got concerned," he said, speaking at his press conference at Whistling Straits, site of this week's 92nd PGA Championship. "I certainly had the gamut of thoughts... I would just lay down and couldn't roll over. I was concerned about being able to swing a golf club and so forth."

Following the British Open Mickelson went to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and had the diagnosis confirmed. Mickelson has been getting weekly shots of Enbrel.

"I feel great now and things have been much better," he said. "I'll probably take the drug for about a year and then feel 100 percent."

One side effect of the drug is that is lowers the immune system.

Phil was clear to point out that he doesn't feel the arthritis has been affecting his play, specifically mentioning the U.S. Open and the British Open. He tied for fourth at Pebble Beach and struggled badly at St. Andrews.

"First of all," he said, "I don't want excuses. And second, I don't want to discuss something when I don't know what the outcome is going to be....now that I feel confident it's not going to affect not only the rest of my career or the rest of my life, but even in the short term it shouldn't have an effect. I feel a lot better about it and I'm a lot more at ease to discuss it."

Mickelson also dropped another bomb shell of sorts, disclosing he has become a vegetarian in an effort to bolster his immune system.

Although Lefty was able to win the Masters at the start of the year, that has been the only win of 2010 for him.

Mickelson and Tiger Woods are the odds on favorites to win the PGA Championship in Las Vegas, despite the struggles of both players in recent weeks. The tournament gets under way on Thursday in Kohler, Wisconsin.

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