How Tom Brady almost damaged Phil Mickelson’s hands weeks before the Masters

Phil Mickelson tips his cap at the Masters.

Phil Mickelson once played a sport other than golf with Tom Brady at Augusta National.

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Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady are teaming up to take on Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning later this month in The Match: Champions for Charity, but it won’t be the first time Mickelson and Brady have joined forces.

The duo has played golf together in the past, but they’ve also dabbled in Brady’s line of expertise — and at Augusta National, no less. Mickelson referenced the latter during a hit on The Dan Patrick Show on Monday, saying it was one of greatest moments he’s had playing with Brady.

Mickelson said Brady was about to start working out with Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman, so Brady wanted to stay sharp, even though they were at Augusta National. (Mickelson didn’t mention what year this was.)

“He asked if I would go catch some passes,” Mickelson said. “I said, ‘Yeah, I’d love to. I’d love to catch passes from Tom Brady.’ We are 20 yards away, it’s 7:15 in the morning, and it’s half dark out, and he’s throwing these balls so hard I’m worrying about busting a finger. I only catch the second half of the pass. So if the ball wasn’t on my torso, I couldn’t catch it. If it was off to the side I would end up missing it. And I was so cautious about bending my fingers in a way, [I was positioning them] so that I don’t jam a finger. There were three times that a ball hit the palm as it got through my fingers and hit the palm of my hand, and all three times I had a nerve shot go right up my arm.”

Mickelson said he never realized how hard it must be for NFL receivers to put all their gear on, go on the field and catch bullet passes from quarterbacks.

“It gave me a new respect for how good those guys are,” he said.

Mickelson didn’t mention what happened during their round at Augusta that day, but he did say his mini training session with Brady was a memorable one.

“That was one of these unique moments that I kind of look back on and laugh and cherish because, who gets to catch passes with Tom Brady at Augusta National at 7:15 in the morning?” Mickelson said.

Patrick followed up by telling Mickelson, who has won three Masters titles, he was lucky he didn’t break his fingers.

“It was two weeks before the Masters, so I didn’t want to miss the Masters because of that,” Mickelson said.

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As’s managing editor, Berhow handles the day-to-day and long-term planning of one of the sport’s most-read news and service websites. He spends most of his days writing, editing, planning and wondering if he’ll ever break 80. Before joining in 2015, he worked at newspapers in Minnesota and Iowa. A graduate of Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minn., he resides in the Twin Cities with his wife and two kids. You can reach him at

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