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The Telegraph

The secrets of Phil Mickelson’s USPGA Championship success

Phil Mickelson did not just defy the best golfers in the world in winning the US PGA at Kiawah Island on Sunday, he defied time itself. The Californian, who turns 51 next month, became the oldest player ever to win a major championship, breaking a record which had stood for 53 years. Even Tiger Woods, a man with whom Mickelson has enjoyed a famously frosty relationship down the years, described the achievement as “truly inspirational”. But how did he do it? How did a man who had gone 18 straight starts without a top 20 tame such a brutal course, a course which sent world No 1 Dustin Johnson packing within two days? How did a player diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis in 2010 keep his hands steady and his body loose for four straight days? How did a golfer who already had five major victories in the bank, and more money than he would ever need, keep his motivation levels up? The body Mickelson has become quasi-evangelical about physical and mental health in the autumn of his career. He has lost a significant amount of weight since his heyday in the early- to mid-2000s, when he cut a portly figure, and now looks pretty buff. Famously, after being diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis in 2010 and then as the results began to tail off in the second half of the last decade, Mickelson underwent a “hard reset”, creating his own six-day ‘Coffee For Wellness’ diet with performance coach Dave Phillips. The diet involves consuming only water and a special coffee blend that includes Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee, almond milk, cinnamon and coconut MCT oil. He has also, apparently, cut out most meats and is fastidious about what he does put in his body. “I wasn’t educated,” Mickelson told at last year’s U.S. Open. “I either wasn’t aware or didn’t want to know the things I was putting in my body, whether it was diet soda and how toxic that is, or whether it was the amount of sugar and how much inflammation it causes, or whether it was the quantity; all of those things, I just kind of shut my eyes to.”