Tiger and Phil: Rivalry, respect and renewal

Tiger Tracker Tiger Woods still trying to make birdie Sunday at Wells Fargo			Getty Images

The 42-year-old Woods made some significant progress in that area Saturday shooting a 3-under 68, but he was nine strokes behind leader Jason Day entering the final round of the Wells Fargo Championship and all but out of contention.

The last time Woods and Mickelson played together in a tournament was during the first two rounds of the 2014 PGA Championship, where Woods missed the cut and Mickelson went on to finish second.

"We haven't been paired together in years, and 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", Mickelson said.

The group tees off on Thursday at 1:52 pm ET off the first tee and at 8:27 am off the 10th tee on Friday.

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The best thing Tiger Woods could say about his final round at the Wells Fargo Championship on Sunday was that it was over and that another tournament awaits this week. "I'm doing better as time has gone on", Mickelson said. 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.

That Woods and Phil Mickelson once had one of golf's most intense rivalries is as well known as the mutual antipathy that existed while it was going on. "He always texted me some very encouraging words". South Korea's Kim Si-woo is the defending champion at the Players, which moves from May to March next year as the PGA Championship moves from August to May.

So when Woods was told about Mickelson's jab questioning whether he wanted a piece of him, Woods knew exactly where to go.

Mickelson had earlier offered effusive praise of just how powerful Woods was in his prime.

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And to do that, he may just need to stop blasting and start trying a more tender approach to the game.

"There are a lot of different things going on and when you look at these two courses the cream rises to the top and you've got to go to the top of the list and look at the Dustin Johnson's, the Justin Thomas', the Jon Rahm's, the Justin Rose's, the Rory McIlroy's, these kind of guys". The more he plays, the sharper he'll get. 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. I look at 2000 as being kind of the benchmark at the U.S. Open as being the greatest golf I've ever witnessed and I believe has ever been played.

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 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.

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