Mickelson’s mindset about his arthritis is one that everyone can follow, that is, mind over arthritis – not letting his arthritis stop his passion for golf. In an interview with the USA Today, he said: “I also find that the more I work out, the better I feel and the less symptoms I feel. So I’m excited. I feel better and better.” The 44-year-old, 42-time PGA Tour winners, five-time major champion and three-time winner in the Phoenix Open has been living with psoriatic arthritis since 2010. Upon his diagnosis, Mickelson’s rheumatologist gave him a treatment plan that included a tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blocking biologic response modifying medication. The medication kept his arthritis under control and reduced his pain. Thanks to an early diagnosis and treatment, Mickelson was able to get back into his game on the course. Though he receives the occasional good-natured tease from fellow professionals about his approaching senior years, he is not discouraged.
In Wednesday’s pro-am of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Keegan Bradley outdrove Mickelson by 30 yards on the 14th hole at TPC Scottsdale. USA Today reports Bradley’s reaction, that is “I left him a note in the fairway, letting him know that the senior tees are not that far off, so don’t get too worked up about it.” Mickelson responded by boasting about his triumph, by 25 yards, over Bradley during a friendly long-drive contest last week.
When asked if he felt he could win another major in a press release, Mickelson said: “I think that when I play to the level I’m capable of playing, I’m very confident that will be enough. I had a terrible year last year and I still almost won the PGA. I’m playing a lot better now.” Fans will continue to see Mickelson on and off the course. On course, he continues to be a competitor, father figure and mentor to some; off course, he is active, in partnership with pharmaceutical companies and the American Arthritis Association’s Joint Smart Coalition, in advocating and educating others about arthritis on his website On Course with Phil.