OUR VIEW: Age remains just a number

Published 9:30 am Thursday, May 27, 2021

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Regardless of age, or your thoughts on golf in general, we think most were inspired by Phil Mickelson’s victory Sunday at the PGA Championship.

The championship was played at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina and as far as know Mickelson, one of the all-time greats in golf, has no connection to Troup County. So why are we writing about it?

Mainly because it felt like there were a few life lessons to take away from Mickelson’s victory Sunday, as we all work to fight age and move as well as “we used to.” Regardless of whether you’re 30 or 50, you never want to acknowledge that you’ve lost a step or that you can’t do something as good as you used to.

We’re sure many casual sports fans who don’t follow golf closely have shrugged their shoulders when reading about Mickelson’s victory. After all, a five-time major winner adding a sixth major championship isn’t really all that surprising. To those loosely following the story, it not only made sense for Mickelson to win, but they probably believe he was among the favorites. But he was far from a favorite.

Mickelson was as low as 300 to 1 to win the tournament before teeing off on Thursday. He’s fallen out of the top 100 players in the world, appeared to require an exemption to even make the U.S. Open next month (he no longer does) and has been a relative non-factor in tour events the last two years. The only place he’s been competitive lately was the senior tour.

However, he managed to win one of golf’s premiere events at 50, becoming the oldest major championship winner in history. He beat guys who were half his age (and younger). After his victory, he talked about working a little harder and training his mind to maintain focus.

Maybe we can all take a little inspiration from Mickelson’s victory. Not all of us are millionaire golfers, but away from sports, the idea of working harder and staying “young” and fit can benefit all of us.  If we can stay focused — work harder — and be the best version of ourselves, maybe we can stay in our prime longer than we should. Maybe we can have a little more control over when the sun sets on our own careers and life in general.

Even though we don’t want to think about it, we’re all growing older every day. It’s not as if our bodies get better the more we age. As Mickelson proved Sunday, age is just a number. Maybe we should stop worrying about the birth year so much and just live life to the fullest.