Tiger Woods to play alongside Phil Mickelson at Players Championship

Grant SmithMay 09, 2018

Of course Day also had to deal with a lot of other issues in the past year and a half, including his mother's battle with cancer, a miscarriage suffered by his wife, Ellie, and a nagging back injury. 'Big picture, though, who's had the most wins?' countered Tiger.

Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are grouped together at The Players Championship this week, providing plenty of intrigue for golf fans.

The last time they played together in a tournament was during the first two rounds of the 2014 PGA Championship, in which Woods missed the cut and Mickelson finished second.

Though he contended twice on the PGA Tour in Florida less than two months ago, subsequent mediocre performances at the U.S Masters and, last week, at the Wells Fargo Championship have diminished his stock. "Normally for most of our careers we were 1 and 2 in the world, and we're on opposite sides of the draw". We don't get it very often. We were on opposite tees.

"Both are late in their careers and they've softened", says Haney.

"To step up and play the final six holes the way I did, especially the last four, and step up in the playoff and consistently make the swings I did, to step up and hit those shots one after the other, when I really had to, it was nice to have that reassurance", he recalled. "I think we should just do something on our own and get after it". "I'm doing better as time has gone on".

Fun was not a word that Woods often used to describe anything but winning in his heyday.

"It was 12 years between wins here, and so, as y'all know, just looking at my record, I didn't play this place well".

"I'm very pleased with the way I'm swinging", he said. "You have to play well here".

"It really is a total package golf course". "I said, 'Yeah, you and I have the same philosophy in how we approach chipping and how we do it".

"I need to do some practice with my putter but I know those greens, know the putts, but you have to hit the ball well there at the TPC", he said.

As Woods fought to return to the tour after back surgery, a new generation of young stars were making their mark on the tour. But on Sunday, he did something he hasn't done in four years - and it wasn't a positive.

It was only the 11th time in more than 1,000 rounds as a professional on the PGA Tour that Woods failed to record a birdie or eagle.

"He offered numerous times to help me out with technique and just about it", Woods said.

Many in and around the Mickelson and Woods camps, including the two men themselves, say the dynamic between them was never quite as frosty as it was made out to be during their prime. He kept the outside world at arms length. It can be demanding at times.

"Phil and I have a great banter", Woods said Tuesday. Instead, he was candid and open-handed with his responses.

"We've always had a mutual respect over the years, and I've always appreciated what (Tiger's) done for the game of golf", Mickelson said. Now, Woods is becoming much easier to appreciate as a person.

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