Going for the gold: Phil Mickelson sets sights on the Rio 2016 Olympics

Professional golfer Phil Mickelson wants to go for the gold at the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Phil Mickelson of the United States wants to be an Olympian. 

Tom Pennington / Getty Images Europe

Phil Mickelson wants to go for the gold when golf makes its return to the Olympics in Rio 2016. 

"I don't know why it's so important to me but it is," Mickelson said Tuesday at the Barclays via ESPN.com. "I want to be a 46-year-old Olympian. So 2015 and 2016 are years I want to really focus on and I want to make sure I'm ready again."

The three-time Masters champ has been on an upward swing of late, finishing second at the PGA Championship a couple weeks earlier. 

"The PGA was a big week for me because it was the first time this year my game was back," Mickelson said via ESPN.com. "It gave me an excitement and energy heading into the FedEx Cup and Barclays here that my game is back and I'm ready to compete and get back into contention."

Rio de Janeiro 2016 will be the first time golf will be part of the Olympics since the 1904 Games in St. Louis. 

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