Tiger Woods will take inspiration from Phil Mickelson's recent WGC win that showed age is no barrier to success on the PGA Tour, says Jordan Spieth, who wouldn't be surprised to see Woods challenge at the Masters.
The 14-time major winner continues his return to action at the Valspar Championship this week and the Arnold Palmer Invitational next week in another back-to-back set of events on his return from spinal surgery.
The 42-year-old finished 23rd in the Farmers Insurance Open, missed the cut in the Genesis Open and was 12th in the Honda Classic - he's 4/9 to make cut this week with Sky Bet and 13/8 to miss out on the weekend.
47-year-old Mickelson became the oldest winner of any World Golf Championship event with a play-off win over Justin Thomas in Mexico, and while Woods can take inspiration from that he insists he's happy just being back competing.
"To watch the young guys do what they're doing is what they're supposed to do - this is their generation," said Woods.
"What Phil's doing is showing us we can still do it later on in our careers. Davis (Love) did it at 51 I believe, Phil at 47, Kenny Perry won a handful of events post-45 so there are a few guys that can do it late in their career. For me, I'm ecstatic just to have a chance to play again and have a chance to win golf tournaments.
Tiger Woods Valspar finish (odds via Sky Bet)
Top 5 - 5/1
Top 10 - 5/2
Top 20 - 5/4
"There was a while there where I didn't look like I was ever going to be out here again. I think I've come around very quickly, I've only played 10 rounds.
"I know people are saying I've been a little erratic, a little inconsistent but it's 10 rounds. I looked up some of my stats last night and I'm not even on the rankings - I haven't played enough rounds."
Mickelson's win sets him up nicely for the Masters and Woods, who has missed three of the last four events says Augusta National remains the major where experience counts even more.
"There's definitely going to be some of the younger guys up there with a chance who are playing really well at the time, but Augusta is also one of those courses that favours the vets," Woods added.
Three-time major winner Jordan Spieth also believes that Mickelson's win could be the boost Tiger needs to spur him on come Masters time.
"Seeing Phil win I think was really cool for Tiger, to recognise I've got all this time to be still able to get to that high level," Spieth said.
"Knowing his nature that he's displayed over the last 20 years, it still wouldn't be surprising if, come Masters time, he's in the hunt on Sunday and that's pretty amazing to say."