14-time major champion Tiger Woods has been paired with Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler in the opening two rounds of this week’s PGA Player’s Championship event at TPC Sawgrass.
It marks the first time they have been paired together since the second round of the 2014 PGA Championship, when Woods shot 74 and Mickelson 67.
Woods and Mickelson have found themselves grouped together on 32 occasions. Mickelson has shot a lower round 15 times, Woods 14 times and they have matched scores on three occasions.
Building up to the first round, Phil Mickelson has singled out Woods as the most “remarkable” golfer in the history of game and this despite Jack Nicklaus winning a record 18 majors.
“I don’t think anybody today who wasn’t there who witnessed Tiger in the early 2000s, or I don’t think anybody before will see that level of play again.
“It was the most remarkable golf in the history of the game and I think it’s unrepeatable. It was that good.
“I go back to 2000 and the US Open and I look at his performance as being the greatest golf I’ve ever witnessed and has ever been played.”
Woods won that US Open at Pebble Beach by 15 strokes and the record-shattering romp launched a run forever known as the “Tiger Slam” in which he also captured the 2000 British Open, becoming at 24 the youngest player to complete a career Grand Slam, the 2000 PGA Championship and 2001 Masters to hold all four major titles at once.
“We’ve always had a mutual respect over the years, and I’ve always appreciated what he’s done for the game of golf,” Mickelson said.
“Fifteen years ago, my record against him sucked, and now it’s OK. I’m doing better as time has gone on.”
© Agence France-Presse (Additional edits from Richard Barrett)