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Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson will play together Thursday and Friday at The Players Championship.
It will mark just the second and third times the two have been grouped together at TPC Sawgrass. The first time was in the third round in 2001, a round known best for Woods’ “better than most” putt on the 17th green.
Woods and Mickelson have played together 35 times on the PGA Tour, including 10 times apiece in the first and second rounds. Woods leads the all-time head-to-head series, but just barely – 16-15-4.
Of course, when Mickelson was asked about the star-studded pairing during his pre-tournament press conference on Tuesday, Mickelson kept things light.
“As I look at the cover of the newspaper and the pairing is on there and the excitement that’s been going on around here, it gets me thinking: Why don’t we just bypass all the ancillary stuff of a tournament and just go head-to-head and just have kind of a high-stake, winner-take-all match,” Mickelson quipped. “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.”
When told about Mickelson’s comments, Woods responded succinctly: “Big picture.” (Woods has won 79 times on the PGA Tour compared to Mickelson’s 43 wins on Tour.)
Woods and Mickelson, who will also be grouped with Rickie Fowler, begin their first round Thursday at 1:52 p.m. Eastern. The trio tees off the 10th tee at 8:27 a.m. Friday.