Phil Mickelson joined Ernie Els for a press conference on Tuesday at Quail Hollow before what will be both players' 100th career major appearance.
As is often the case at majors, Mickelson was asked about Tiger Woods. But this time Mickelson gave a very interesting answer to a common question: what would you have achieved in your career if Tiger Woods hadn't come around?
"I feel as though had Tiger not come around, I don't feel I would have pushed myself to achieve what I ended up achieving," Mickelson said. "He forced everybody to get the best out of themselves. He forced everybody to work a little bit harder."
Phil attributed a large portion of that to the influence Tiger had in making fitness an essential part of the game. Without that influence, Mickelson speculated that he wouldn't have had the career longevity he now enjoys. For those reasons, he said, "I don't think I would have had the same level of success had he not come around."
Mickelson has achieved quite a lot in what has become one of the all-time great careers. Among his achievements are five major championship victories and 42 PGA Tour wins, and his career isn't over yet. Lefty is in Charlotte this week to make an attempt at his second PGA and sixth-career major win.