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Mickelson sets sights on Olympic campaign

Mickelson sets sights on Olympic campaign

GOLF: Phil Mickelson of the U.S. hits his second shot on the 12th hole during the final round of the 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, Aug. 10. Photo: Reuters/Brian Snyder

PARAMUS, New Jersey, (Reuters) – Five-times major winner Phil Mickelson, nearly done with a mostly disappointing season, has set his sights on 2015 and a campaign to realize a golfing dream at the Rio Olympics the following year.

Mickelson showed signs of a revival with his rousing runner-up finish to Rory McILroy at the PGA Championship and said on Tuesday that his sights were already trained on Rio.

“I know that I’ve made great strides this year in driving the golf ball … but it’s been a terrible year for my wedge and short irons. I also had a very poor year putting,” he told reporters at Ridgewood Country Club, site of this week’s FedExCup playoffs opener, The Barclays.

“I’m actually more looking forward to 2015 and after these next few events, after the Ryder Cup, I’ll probably take the rest of the year off, work on my fitness, work on my golf game and really focus on 2015 because 2015 is when the points start accumulating really for the Olympics.

“I don’t know why that’s important to me, but it is. I want to be a 46-year-old Olympian, that’s pretty cool.

“So 2015 and 2016 are years I want to really focus on and I want to make sure I’m ready again.”

The 44-year-old has not won this season and is in danger of going without a PGA Tour victory for the first time in 11 years.

“Now I have to play well this week and in the FedExCup to really make the year salvageable,” added Mickelson, a 42-time winner on the PGA Tour.

(Editing by Ian Ransom)

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