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Phil Mickelson looking ahead to Olympic golf

Phil Mickelson looking ahead to Olympic golf
Phil Mickelson hits his tee shot on the 15th hole during the final round of the PGA Championship at Kentucky's Valhalla Golf Club on Aug. 10. (Jeff Gross / Getty Images)

After a second-place finish at the recent PGA Championship, Phil Mickelson said he feels energized and ready for the FedEx Cup playoffs.

But there is something else the highly ranked golfer is looking forward to.

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The 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics will be on Mickelson's mind when he embarks on the 2015 season. That's when players begin the qualifying process for the Games.

"I don't know why that's important to me, but it is," he said at a news conference before the Barclays this week. "I want to be a 46-year-old Olympian, that's pretty cool."

Golf is set to return to the Olympic program for the first time since 1904. The sport is getting a test run at the current 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.

Renato Paratore of Italy led the second round of play with a 5-under 67 on Wednesday at Zhongshan International Golf Club. Viktor Hovland of Norway was one stroke back.

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