Tom Brady Praises Phil Mickelson: 'His Love of the Game Is Inspiring for Us All'

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVMay 23, 2021

KIAWAH ISLAND, SOUTH CAROLINA - MAY 22: Phil Mickelson of the United States plays his shot from the 16th tee during the third round of the 2021 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island Resort's Ocean Course on May 22, 2021 in Kiawah Island, South Carolina. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

As Phil Mickelson sits 18 holes away from being the oldest major winner in golf history, another ageless superstar is heaping praise on Lefty.

Tom Brady called Mikelson an inspiration Saturday in a text message to the Los Angeles Times.

"He's so committed and such a great athlete, it's a pleasure to see him compete," Brady wrote. "His love of the game is inspiring for us all, and he is always looking for ways to improve mentally, physically and emotionally! Just great to watch."

Mickelson holds a one-stroke lead over Brooks Koepka heading into Sunday's final round of the 2021 PGA Championship. Less than a month away from his 51st birthday, Mickelson would eclipse Julius Boros as the oldest major winner by more than two years. 

Boros won the 1968 PGA Championship at age 48.

Brady already holds nearly every "oldest" record in NFL history: oldest player to appear in a Super Bowl; oldest player to win a Super Bowl; oldest player to win Super Bowl MVP; oldest player to win regular-season MVP; oldest quarterback to throw for 4,000 yards in a season; oldest player to throw for 40 touchdowns in a season...we could continue this list until this writer's fingers are whittled down to the bone.

While modern advancements in nutrition and medicine have made it possible for athletes to stay great later into their careers, Brady, Mickelson and LeBron James stand out as paragons of late-career excellence.

Mickelson won tournaments in his ages 47 and 48 seasons after retooling his game amid a five-year championship drought, and he's used appearances on the Champions Tour to help fine-tune his game for big PGA events.

That said, holding the lead Sunday would be an accomplishment of truly unprecedented proportions.