Saturday, 18 August, 2018

The first Players Championship pairing reveal is juicy

Day takes lead at Wells Fargo Mc Ilroy and Woods adrift GOLF Day takes lead at Wells Fargo Mc Ilroy and Woods adrift Getty Images
Domingo Copeland | 09 May, 2018, 00:52

In his past two appearances, though, Woods struggled to make the cut at the Masters and the Wells Fargo Championship, and he finished tied for 55th Sunday at the latter event. Not at the biggest non-major of the year, and particularly not playing alongside Rickie Fowler and Phil Mickelson. "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".

And Woods can't wait to join his long-time rival Mickelson on the course on Thursday. Thomas Pieters is the one I'm surprised about because he's down to number 54 in the world but I really like the way this kid plays.

Tiger Woods had a rare birdie-free round to finish among the also-rans at the Wells Fargo Championship in North Carolina on Sunday. After a winless 2017 on the PGA Tour, the Australian, who was ranked No. 1 in the world for a bit back in 2015, has now won twice this season, claiming a two-shot victory at Quail Hollow.

One year they were in the locker room at the Byron Nelson Classic when Mickelson challenged Woods to anything at their disposal. Woods is on a comeback after spinal fusion surgery to ease nagging back pain that cost him most of the past two PGA campaigns. "Every interview we hear he talks about his speed and how far he's driving compared to the young guys, but I think if he gets off of that and just gets back to putting the ball in play with the driver and accept whatever distance it is, because he still hits a longway, I think he would play more consistently". Although Woods' accomplishments are the stuff of legend, he and Mickelson crossed paths rarely in those prime years.

Woods was one of several golfers who began the third round at 2 over par, but he took advantage of playing in the morning under overcast skies and an easier course setup than the previous two rounds. "He always texted me some very encouraging words".

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Perhaps more than any other player, Mickelson can appreciate what Woods accomplished during his prime. He relished the chance to poke fun at Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, who he said makes golf interesting "for people who don't play the game", with the implication obvious. You have to hit the golf ball well. I look at 2000 as being the benchmark, at the US Open as being the greatest golf I've ever witnessed and I believe ever has been played.

"It's not so bad when you miss the greens if you miss them in the correct spots". All three in their pairing are former Players winners.

Animosity aside (be it real or perceived), the first two rounds at TPC Sawgrass are still must-see opportunities, even if that means your couch may be the best vantage point.

"I'm just not that comfortable with anything right now".

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