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He talked about his family as part of a timeline in golf. There were memories of his oldest daughter born after the first of his record five runner-up finishes in the U.S. Open, the blonde curls of his second daughter, Sophia, whom he told, “Daddy won!” after his first major at the Masters. He told of the 2005 PGA Championship win, how son Evan was high-fiving the New Jersey state troopers.

And he paid tribute to the thousands of fans he made along the way in a career that has made Mickelson a modern-day Arnold Palmer for his go-for-broke style on the golf course and the way he makes every fan feel special by looking them in the eye or signing countless autographs.

“There have been a lot of times where I’ve struggled, and it’s been their energy that’s helped pull me through,” Mickelson said. “I’ve tried to reciprocate by launching drive after drive in their general direction.”

Mickelson choked up with emotion talking about the only caddie he’s ever had as a pro _ Jim “Bones” Mackay _ and Steve Loy, his college coach who turned into his business manager. It was Loy who introduced Mickelson as the “People’s Choice.”

In a rare moment, PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem did not give a brief “State of Golf” as he has done over the years at the induction ceremony. Instead, he saluted Mickelson for projecting golf’s image as well as anyone.

“I would like to thank him in addition for being a role model, a role model for young players coming up, and a role model for people who play the game of golf just for fun, because you’ve never seen Phil Mickelson on or off the golf course that he wasn’t showing the proper professionalism that you want to see in any athlete, particularly an athlete in our sport,” Finchem said.

“I think only Arnold Palmer maybe could be classified as better at enthusing our fans and having the fans fall in love with him. The way he interacts with the fans, the way he signs for the fans, the way he catches the fans’ attention, the way he gives them eye contact, the way he shakes their hands when he has the opportunity.”

Perhaps it was only fitting that on the walkway at the World Golf Village, with the signatures of Hall of Fame members etched in stone, Mickelson’s name is on the stone right next to Palmer.

“Arnold was a guy I really looked up to and tried to emulate and admired the way he played the game, the way he handled himself, the way he treated other professionals and everybody,” Mickelson said before the ceremony. “From the first time I played the U.S. Open in 1994 at Oakmont, which was his final one, watching him treat the volunteers to an hour-and-a-half discussion and autograph session, picture session, when he didn’t have to do it, he just thanked them for all of their contributions.”

Mickelson will be among the favorites at The Players Championship this week, and while Mickelson believes the minimum age should go from 40 to 50, he allowed himself to soak up a Hall of Fame career _ still in progress _ when he drove to the World Golf Hall of Fame with his wife.

“We’ve really had a pretty great life experience these last 20 years, the things we’ve shared,” Mickelson said before the ceremony. “And what’s great is that I feel like at his age, we can still have more. … It was really a fun time for us to share just talking on the drive over here what the game has meant to us and what these last 20 years have brought to us, because we don’t really slow down and reminisce and think about it because we’re just right in the thick of it.”

Lyle, elected on the International ballot, won 29 times around the world, including the 1985 British Open and the 1988 Masters with a 7-iron out of the bunker on the 18th hole for a birdie to become the first British winner of the green jacket. Lyle also played on five Ryder Cup teams.

Jenkins and Alliss were selected through the Lifetime Achievement category, while Stacy was chosen through the Veterans Category.