U.S. Open: Phil Mickelson finds Tom Brady 'inspiring,' 'motivating'

·2-min read

The season of the Old Dudes is in full swing. 

Less than four months after Tom Brady won his seventh Super Bowl, Phil Mickelson won his sixth major, taking the PGA Championship last month at Kiawah Island. The occasional playing partners are longtime admirers of one another's game, and on Monday, Mickelson detailed just what he's learned about competition and fitness from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback. 

Mickelson told a story of how Brady handles his visits to Augusta National: “He’d stay at the cottages, he’d be up hours before we played,” Mickelson said. “He would go to the gym and do a bunch of band work for an hour, just getting his shoulders and knees and hips and everything firing and activated.” After the round? Same drill, discipline right down the line.

“When you see somebody do it and do what he’s doing, which is play football at the highest level at an age that really nobody else has ever done it, it’s inspiring and it’s motivating,” Mickelson said. “When you see it happen, it’s much easier to do.”

Mickelson also referenced The Match from last year, when he and Brady teamed up to play Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning. Brady looked all too mortal early on, flubbing shots and even splitting his pants.

“He just didn't quite have it that day,” Mickelson recalled. “It almost made him more human because he excels at everything he does. To see him struggle like that was very humanizing, I thought.”

But then — spurred on by a challenge from Charles Barkley — Brady did what Brady does, rising to the challenge and chipping in a shot from the 7th fairway.

“The way he can mentally slow down when things aren't going well and process it and then start to perform is another trait that you learn from him,” Mickelson added.

This week, Mickelson will take one more run at the elusive career Grand Slam, teeing it up at Torrey Pines for the U.S. Open. The odds aren’t in his favor — he’s currently +5000 to win, per BetMGM — but then they weren’t last month, either.

Once and future champions from May 2020. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images for The Match)
Once and future champions from May 2020. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images for The Match)

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Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook at @jaybusbee or contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com.

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