‘Really Cool Thing’: Old School Phil Mickelson Revealed What Impresses Him Most About Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth and Current Generation Golfers Back in a 2017 Interview

Published 10/22/2022, 12:00 PM EDT
Jun 14, 2022; Brookline, Massachusetts, USA; Phil Mickelson smiles from the ninth tee during a practice round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at The Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

There is no doubt that the professional rivalry between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson was one of the main attractions of pro golf during their prime era. However, there is no such legendary rivalry among the new-generation golfers. And Mickelson once expressed it as one of the best qualities of today’s generation. 

“I think that’s what’s so great about this generation,” Mickelson said in a 2017 interview. When you look at the young guys, though, is that they love to compete… play against each other,” he added. “And yet they’re so supportive for each other’s success.” 


Article continues below this ad

The golfer explained how he does enjoy watching the ‘bromance’ of the young players when he appeared as a guest along with Jason Day on The Dan Patrick Show. 

The Tour veteran loves the ‘bromance’ between the new-generation golfers

Most fans of the golf world grew up watching the legendary rivalry between Woods and Mickelson. Even Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus maintained a similar relationship until they retired. Interestingly, many started loving golf because of these disputes between golfers on and off the course. 

However, the new-generation players don’t like to keep a grudge after playing the tournament. Until Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau‘s famous feud, nobody among the young golfers considered each other their rivals. In fact, some of them are best friends off the course. 

“I think it kind of started with Jason’s (Day) generation,” Mickelson said in the interview. “You look at guys like Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas who compete and love playing against each other,” he added. “But then, they’re supportive of each other, which is a really cool thing that’s going on in the sports right now.” 

It is not a secret that golfers, Spieth and Thomas, are one another’s best friends. The duo even went on a trip together Bahamas after the Masters once with Rickie Fowler and Smylie Kaufman. 

Does Phil Mickelson still consider Tiger Woods his rival? 


Article continues below this ad

With the new LIV Golf chaos, the legendary duo doesn’t interact with one another. However, there was a time when the two began a friendship between each other. 

AKRON, OH – AUGUST 01: Phil Mickelson (L) and Tiger Woods meet during a preview day of the World Golf Championships – Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club South Course at on August 1, 2018 in Akron, Ohio. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Mickelson once explained that his relationship with the 15-time major champion evolved after they started working together at the 2016 Ryder Cup. According to Lefty, as an assistant captain, Woods interacted with him more, and working together led them to develop a friendship. 


Article continues below this ad

Mickelson enjoys watching the new friendly relationship between young players. Which relationship do you like to watch more, bromance or rivals?

Watch This Story: ‘There Won’t Be Another…’: Latest Tiger Woods Revelation, Courtesy of His ‘Little Brother’ Justin Thomas, Has Golf Fans Reacting in Excitement



Anjana Prabhakaran

1160 articles

Anjana Prabhakaran is a Golf content writer at EssentiallySports. She has completed her Master's degree in Public Administration and considers researching as one of her hobbies. As her family is interested in sports, Anjana grew up watching every sport on television.

Edited By: Manaal Siddiqui