"We don't get it very often". That's when he was winning majors and dominating the PGA Tour.
Mickelson, who is making his 25th Players Championship appearance, claimed a two-stroke victory in 2007 - the first time the tournament was held in May - so he is chasing "bookend" wins in the last one held in May before it moves back to March. We wish it would happen more. We were on opposite tees. (And we'd be remiss in forgetting their celebrated practice round at this year's Masters.) However, as both have regained semblances of formidability in the late stages of their careers, the grouping is the rare showcase of living legends with something left in the tank.
"That was one of the very few times, if not the first time we played together the first two rounds".
"We all know what kind of short game he has, he can get up and down from a trash can".
"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. And I said, yeah, you and I have the same philosophy in how we approach chipping and how we do it.
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So when Woods was told about Mickelson's jab questioning whether he wanted a piece of him, Woods knew exactly where to go.
This year, both Tiger and Phil are looking forward to the unique opportunity.
"If you watch him, his swing looks a lot better", says Harman. "You have to play well here". I felt like it handcuffed me", admitted McIlroy of his first impressions of Sawgrass, explaining: "I've learnt to take it for what it is, a very positional golf course.
"I hit the ball halfway decent today, " he said. "You hit the ball well where you're in correct spots, and you can make birdies, and I didn't do that".
Phil Mickelson, nearing 48 years old, remains golf's greatest showman. 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. I just didn't hit good putts, and on top of that, the ones I did hit well, I didn't have enough speed on them. I think it's a lot more hard than it has been in the past, we just need to see Tiger show us that he can win on a regular tour stage first.
The long-time rivals, who have been paired together 32 times over 21 PGA stroke-play events, are seldom paired together, in part to spread more popular players across different tee times and areas of the course during tournaments. He kept the outside world at arms length.