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When Jordan Spieth was in grade school, he followed Phil Mickelson at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth. A few years later, he won an autographed copy of Phil Mickelson gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated after sinking the winning putt at the 2004 Masters, his first major title. Somehow, 17 years later, Mickelson made history again, claiming his sixth major at the 103rd PGA Championship and becoming the oldest major champion at nearly 51 years of age.

“I thought it would be very, very difficult. He hadn’t been in contention in quite a while on the PGA Tour against the guys he was in contention with, right?” Spieth said. “It’s just so difficult to be in contention for the first time in a while and be able to tap into that confidence that you’re supposed to be there and you’re supposed to win.”

Spieth, who ended his own three-year winless drought in April at the Valero Texas Open, struggled the first few times he was able to get back into contention. He said Mickelson’s success on the PGA Tour Champions, where he won twice last year, may have served him well.

“It seems like all the great ones have that one left at the end, and I know he’ll probably tell you, maybe he thinks he’s got more than one left. I don’t think anybody will doubt him after this one, but I think it’s just wild. I think it’s incredible,” Spieth said.

So does seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady, who teamed with Mickelson last year in The Match: Champions for Charity against Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning.

“He’s so committed and such a great athlete, it’s a pleasure to see him compete,” the 43-year-old Brady wrote Saturday in a text message to the Los Angeles Times. “His love of the game is inspiring for us all and he is always looking for ways to improve mentally, physically and emotionally! Just great to watch.”

Count Spieth among those who marvel at Mickelson’s longevity.

“His streak of not being outside the top 50 in the world for however long that was is going to be a very difficult task for anybody going forward to match. And then to win a tournament, let alone a major championship, at 50 with how young and stacked the game has gotten is just an incredible feat,” he said. “I think the way he handled Saturday and Sunday, when he did make mistakes, especially on the back nine on Saturday, to then close that back out and remain in the lead, it was typical Phil.

“There was going to be some excitement, and when he got in trouble, he got out of it… if you do get into trouble, there’s no one else you’d rather have hitting that shot from a tough spot around the greens, and I think that kind of scrambling and making some putts early in that tournament was a difference maker for him.”

An uncharacteristically cold putter doomed Spieth’s pursuit of the Wanamaker Trophy at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina, but Colonial ranks right alongside Augusta National as a place where Spieth always thrived, no matter the state of his game.

“It’s just been kind of one, from 2013 I just really love being out here,” he said. “I like the shape of the holes, and I like kind of the mixture of the wedge opportunities with some of those par 3s in that horrible horseshoe, all those three holes, where you really just kind of hold on for a little bit in the beginning of the round and you can go take advantage.”

And it could be the perfect place for Spieth to rediscover his magic touch on the greens.

“Probably my greatest strength in the game of golf is green reading and speed control,” he said. “I’ve putted these greens historically very well, that’s number one. I’ve had a knack for reading and dialing in the speed out here… Hopefully, just being on greens that I’ve seen putts go in before, having similar putts and just being confident in the reads will be something that will really be helpful this week.”

The 27-year-old Dallas native has racked up three top-10s in the state of Texas in the past two months, a list highlighted by his 12th career Tour title at the Valero Texas Open to go along with a T-9 at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin and a T-9 at the AT&T Byron Nelson two weeks ago.

But his confidence at Colonial, which comes from a victory in 2016, a pair of runner-ups (2015 and ’17) and a T-10 finish last year, can only take him so far.

“I’ve got to get to where I’m stroking it well or else it doesn’t really matter,” he said of his putting.

Spieth tees off Thursday in one of the featured groups with Mickelson and defending champion Daniel Berger at 2:06 p.m. ET.