Earlier this year, Phil Mickelson dropped a load of weight after he revealed that he was staying out of the limelight because he wasn't happy with his appearance, but his golf game seemed to get even worse and critics were saying it was due to the weight loss. Well it finally looks like Mickelson has found the balance he was looking for in his health and lifestyle, after a fantastic opening round at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
With 44 PGA Tour victories to his name, Mickelson doesn't need the wins or the money, but he is still as hungry as ever to compete with the world's best and winning another tournament would mean the world to him.
His last win wasn't too long ago at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February, but he hasn't produced another top 10 finish in 17 starts. Mickelson's best finish since his win at Pebble Beach was T18 in the Masters back in April and since then, his best finish has been T48 at the BMW Championship.
Making his second start of the new PGA Tour season at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas, Mickelson has got off to a fine start and played some incredible golf.
“I've had an awful six months on and off the course, but things are great now and I'm excited to play good golf. It takes a lot less energy, stress to perform well,” Mickelson said.
“I'm going to continue to make it a lifestyle change. I'm going to continue to eat better, eat less, work out more, just stay committed to it.
“I have the greatest job in the world. I love playing the TOUR. I love the guys out here. I love the challenge of beating the guys out here.
“The challenge of playing golf at the highest level brings out the best in me. Meaning, it forces me to get it the best shape, forces me to work hard and to focus on something positive, improving my game. It gives me a direction, and it's been a big part of my life and I love it.”
Mickelson admitted that when he first started his journey into a healthier lifestyle, he focused too much on weight lost and it affected his strength, leading to a loss of power on the golf course.
“When I first lost 25, 30 pounds I ended up not being as strong, but I've been in the gym now for the last quite a few weeks. The amount that I lift is now significantly more than it was before,” he said in response to a question about losing his power.
“Eating and working out and life-styles are very personal and everybody needs to find what's works for them. It's taken me a little while. Ultimately we all need to be accountable for our own health, and I haven't done a great job of that throughout my career. I wish I had done better. It's not too late. I'm getting after it now.
“I have a bunch more energy. Actually eating less has helped me have more energy. I find the more I eat the more lethargic I get. It's helped create a little bit better focus to finish the rounds off, so it's been a big part of it. But more than that, it just allows me to be my best and practice a little bit harder.”