There was a generation of golfers (his own) who didn’t think Phil Mickelson was exactly a pal. But the newer generation seems to think old Phil’s just swell, if you take Jordan Spieth at his word. (And it probably has to do with that adjective, too: old Phil.) ESPN deals with Mickelson’s middle age in a good story as the lefty veteran prepared for the British Open. (If any place will make you feel young and old at once it’s St. Andrews — young because it’s so old; old because it can be cruel.) Mickelson isn’t yet quite in his golf dotage — he finished second to Spieth at the Masters just this past April. But Spieth says Mickelson is in full mentor mode now on tour.
He’s a great mentor,” Speith says of Mickelson, “who likes to see the game grow, and so he grabs guys who are still trying to find their feet and forms relationships.” (Mickelson was early in championing Spieth’s abilities, lobbying for him to make the 2013 Presidents Cup team.) Spieth may not need a wing to climb under anymore, having won this year’s first two majors. But it’s interesting how these players in their twenties seem to genuinely like Phil and look to him for guidance. “If you have a question,” Spieth says, “he has great answers.”