Phil Mickelson: 'I want to be an Olympic athlete'
PGA Tour U.S. Open

Phil Mickelson: ‘I want to be an Olympic athlete’

While Phil Mickelson is curbing his 2014 schedule with the aim of capturing the elusive U.S. Open and competing the career Grand Slam, the reigning Open champion already has his eye toward golf's return to the Olympics.

"The thing I'm working for is '16. I want to be an Olympic athlete," Mickelson said in an interview with Callaway Golf, recorded last month on the set of a commercial shoot for the club maker.

Mickelson will be 46 when golf makes it return to the Olympic program in Brazil for the first time since 1904.

"I think it would be really cool," Mickelson said. "I think it would be a life experience. I think it would be something I never thought would happen because golf's never been in the Olympics. And it'll be a challenge for me to be playing at the highest level when I'm 46 in three years."

RELATED: Who would be in the Olympic golf tournament today? | The history of golf in the Olympics

If the Olympic golf tournament was held today, Mickelson would easily qualify for the 60-player field. With the Official World Golf Ranking dictating who competes for the gold medal in Rio, Mickelson will half to remain in the top 15 in the world to assure himself a spot in the 72-hole event.

Having a chance at Olympic golf gold would, Mickelson said, be a chance to use everything he has learned in his professional golf career.

"I'm excited about the upcoming years because it's taken me 20 years to acquire and accumulate this knowledge in each area of my game – on how to practice well, what kind of equipment's best suited for those areas, mentally being focused and how to control my thoughts and so forth – to where I'm playing and competing at a level that is better than it's ever been."

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Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer.

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