Tiger Woods will be inspired by seeing long-time rival Phil Mickelson get back in the winner's circle, according to three-time major winner Jordan Spieth.
Mickelson claimed his first victory since the 2013 Open Championship by beating Justin Thomas in a playoff for the WGC-Mexico Championship on Sunday.
At the age of 47, Mickelson is the oldest winner of any World Golf Championship event and will fancy his chances of winning a fourth Masters title next month, with a US Open victory to complete a career grand slam also looking a more realistic prospect.
Woods turned 42 in December and will play the fourth PGA Tour event of his latest comeback when he makes his debut in the Valspar Championship this week, where he has been paired with Spieth and Henrik Stenson in the first two rounds at Innisbrook.
"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 told a pre-tournament press conference.
"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."
Woods underwent spinal fusion surgery in April 2017, his fourth back operation in the space of three years, but has looked pain-free in his competitive appearances in 2018.
The 14-time major winner finished 23rd in the Farmers Insurance Open, missed the cut in the Genesis Open and was 12th in the Honda Classic before committing to the Valspar Championship and next week's Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Asked if he is inspired more by the younger generation winning tournaments or the likes of Mickelson, Woods added: "It's both. To watch the young guys do what they're doing is what they're supposed to do – this is their generation.
"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."