Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson to be paired at Players Championship

Dean Simpson
May 9, 2018

Speaking to the media on Tuesday, Mickelson was asked the prospects of playing with Tiger, and, somehow, the five-time major victor managed to further hype the vaunted pairing. "We'll play for whatever makes him uncomfortable", Woods said with a laugh. However, he'll be a major story line for fans Thursday and Friday, not just because he's, well, Tiger, but for the riveting group in which he's been placed. The round was notable for Wood's failure to produce a single birdie, only the sixth time in his PGA Tour career that he'd completed a round (in regular tournaments outside of the Majors) without managing a birdie or an eagle. But for the first time Tuesday at the Players Championship, Woods revealed that old nemesis and new pal Phil Mickelson even offered to help.

Woods and Mickelson will be paired together with Rickie Fowler this week at the Players Championship at TPC-Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fl. It really did. You look at it and say, 'How am going to going to beat this?' There was a stretch there for a numbers of years that it was so impressive that it was hard to imagine that it was actually happening, that he was hitting some of the shots that he was hitting and playing that well. "Now, I don't know if he wants a piece of me, but I just think it would be something that would be really fun for us to do, and i think there would be a lot of interest in it if we just went straight to the final round".

"I love it", said Mickelson on Sunday.

We don't get to do it very often.

"I do enjoy it [playing with Mickelson] because we don't get to do it very often", Woods said.

"Things like that are what you need to win golf tournaments", said Day after the victory.

In 2001, when Woods famously made his famous long putt at the par-3 17th during the third round that elicited the Gary Koch NBC TV call of "better than most, " he was paired with Mickelson.

"I was fighting demons out there because when you're not hitting it good, it just feels like the life is getting sucked out of you", he said.

The very first time I covered a major championship, I visited post-opening round with a Hall of Fame golfer I had been assigned to follow. They represent, in reverse order, the past three FedExCup champions and will tee off together in another trio that could safely be described as "better than most".

Woods was rated among the favourites at the U.S. Masters in April, but finished equal 32nd and blamed poor iron play.

Woods has always been more effective on surfaces that score high on the Stimpmeter.

"There are a lot of different things going on and when you look at these two courses the cream rises to the top and you've got to go to the top of the list and look at the Dustin Johnson's, the Justin Thomas', the Jon Rahm's, the Justin Rose's, the Rory McIlroy's, these kind of guys".

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