How Tom Brady inspired Phil Mickelson’s late-career resurgence

phil mickelson with tom brady

During The Match 4, Phil Mickelson explained that he'd been inspired by seeing the success Tom Brady enjoyed later in his career.

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The Match 4 features two sports stars who have enjoyed success well into the twilight of their careers — Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady. The former won the PGA Championship two months ago at the spry age of 50, while his 43-year-old partner claimed his seventh Super Bowl title last winter.

Success at an advanced age doesn’t come easy, and during the broadcast on Tuesday night, Larry Fitzgerald (another aging superstar) asked Mickelson what the secret was to his late-career success. As it turns out, he drew inspiration from the golf-loving NFL stars present at The Match.

“It’s inspiring to watch Brady do it, to watch you do it,” Mickelson said. “There’s nothing keeping them from performing at the highest level except for a little extra work.”

That extra work Mickelson alluded to has been well documented as he transformed his body from soft around the middle, to chiseled dad-bod. Periodic fasting supplemented with coffee and water (documented here by GOLF.com’s own Sean Zak) has been a large part of his healthier physique, as well as a better diet.

But despite the sacrifices that had to be made, Mickelson said it’s all been worthwhile.

“That moment at the PGA made all the effort worth it,” he said. “I’d been struggling for a couple years, I hadn’t played at the level I would’ve liked. But then you get that moment where it all comes together and it’s worth every minute of the work.”

Golf.com Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for GOLF.com where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF.com, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf.