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He’s also part of a group bidding to buy his hometown baseball team, and not just because he loves throwing the ball around and perhaps has designs on becoming the Padres’ batting-practice pitcher.

“There were a number of reasons. But I really like the people I’m involved with,” Mickelson said. “And I think they’re just as competitive as I am.”

The quick smile and swashbuckling style have been tempered by his recent battle with psoriatic arthritis, as well as those of his wife and mother against breast cancer. That competitive edge, though, hasn’t been dulled.

“It’s important as a player to be able to keep your mind on the task at hand when you’re on the golf course and not let it waver,” he said. “Certainly for a couple of years it was difficult to do. But right now, you know, everybody is doing great. I mean, my wife and mom are doing terrific. They’re just really in a good spot. My health has been really good. …

“I feel like there’s no reason,” he said, “that I shouldn’t be able to play some of my best golf.”


Jim Litke is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at jlitke(at) and follow him at