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Mickelson proves age is no handicap

Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Phil Mickelson’s triumph at the US PGA Championship made him the oldest player to win a major golf championship – and has been dubbed the “Awe on the Shore”. But how did the once portly American become the lean 50-year-old who bested the brutal course at Kiawah Island? He did it with a “hard reset” of his diet, says Jamie Corrigan in the Telegraph. It involved fasting and a special blend of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee, almond milk, cinnamon and coconut MCT oil. Most meats are out and he now looks “pretty buff”.

He’s been giving his mind a workout, too. Mickelson didn’t “exactly run around the Ocean Course”, but his measured approach is due to meditation. He now pauses for 10 seconds before every shot, flexing his left hand and doing breathing exercises. He also seems to have put his gambling days behind him – he once owed nearly $2m – and improved his focus.

All of which makes him a “marketeer’s dream,” says Ewan Murray in The Guardian. Thanks to his “heroics”, golf, which has already fared well in the pandemic, will boom even more. It’s amazing to think that, after a run of poor form, Mickelson was considering missing next month’s US Open – the only major title to elude him so far. After last Sunday, who knows what will happen at Torrey Pines?

Adam Peaty’s 6,000-calorie diet

While Phil Mickelson cut down on meat to improve his golf game, champion swimmer Adam Peaty had to ditch his vegan diet during lockdown to maintain his muscle mass. “I need meat to get enough protein,” the 2016 Olympic gold medallist told Alex Roberts in Peaty has piled on more than 10kg of muscle in the past year, doing weights in his garage, shovelling down 6,000 calories a day and finally weighing in at nearly 16st.

The results speak for themselves: the 26-year-old won four golds at the European Aquatics Championships in Budapest, the fourth time he has done so, earning him a rare “quadruple quadruple”. He was particularly pleased by his performance in the 50-metre breaststroke, where he splashed home in 26.21 seconds. “I don’t want to sound arrogant, but that was an outstanding swim,” he told BBC Sport. “I was born to race.”

Yet Peaty is a minnow in the eating stakes compared to American swimmer Michael Phelps, says Roberts. The most decorated Olympian of all time put away “almost 12,000 calories a day” during his run of eight golds in eight races at the Beijing Games in 2008. “Phelps would wolf down three fried egg sandwiches, three slices of French toast and two chocolate chip pancakes” for breakfast alone. Truly a sink-or-swim diet.