Phil Mickelson has made a habit of playing practice-round matches with the PGA Tour’s young pups, including the likes of Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka. The matches keep Mickelson sharp while also giving him an up-close look at the game’s newest generation of stars. While impressed by the new guard, Mickelson says none of them has the raw talent of a certain 14-time major champion.
“There is nobody in the game that I have seen that is remotely close to the level of performance Tiger was in his prime,” Mickelson said in an interview on the debut episode of GOLF LIVE. “Mentally, short game, or ball striking, I don’t think anybody matches him in any of those areas. And Tiger put them all together in one to create a career that is mind-boggling in the game of golf.”
Mickelson added that “it’s difficult for me to see the game of golf returning to the level that it was at during [Woods’] heyday.”
“As great as the young players are, the level that I’ve seen out of him, especially when you go back to 2000 at the U.S. Open and his performance when he held all four major championships at once, I think we’re decades away from anybody getting back to that level.”
You can watch video highlights from the interview or read an edited transcript here.