In posting his second win of the season, the Australian was only two fairways better than Woods and a dismal 6/14 on Sunday. Woods, 42, has won 14 major titles, four shy of the record set by Jack Nicklaus, and 79 career PGA crowns, three shy of Sam Snead's all-time mark.
Woods was last paired with Mickelson at The Players in 2001, when the former was mowing down everything in his path. Woods won that event with the help of his "Better than most" putt at the infamous 17th hole, taking the unofficial fifth major just a couple of weeks before completing his "Tiger Slam" at the Masters. "I love the chance. we don't get it very often".
Woods and Mickelson, along with Rickie Fowler, begin their Thursday round at 1:52 p.m. ET. I don't think it really matters when the event is played.
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. He mused on the golf industry, mentioning that the current country club model is "not sustainable", and reflected on the peak of his own career: "I mean, I played well, I thought well, I putted well", he said.
On Tuesday, Mickelson added a playful touch to the proceedings.
Albion clash at Anfield is looking like a must-win for Liverpool
Other absentees include Emre Can, Joel Matip, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez. Adam Lallana is back in training after recovering from a hamstring problem.
One year they were in the locker room at the Byron Nelson Classic when Mickelson challenged Woods to anything at their disposal. 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. "His mom and dad are fantastic, and just to have dinner with him to celebrate, that's very special when you're able to do that, and for him to share with mom and dad like that I think was probably even more special". Woods is on a comeback after spinal fusion surgery to ease nagging back pain that cost him most of the past two PGA campaigns. Woods told of Mickelson sending nothing but encouraging texts when Woods was struggling with his chipping in early 2015 as his back was still ailing. That was one of the very few times, if not the first time, we played together the first two rounds.
The Australian held off the challenge of Americans Aaron Wise and Nick Watney as he fired a two-under final round of 69 to finish on 12-under for a two-stroke victory.
"You've got to give a lot of time to a lot of people and sometimes you don't get a lot of time to yourself". Woods' golf game was always easy to appreciate. 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.
"I look at 2000 as being kind of the benchmark at the U.S. Open as some of the greatest golf I've ever witnessed, and I believe ever has been played", Mickelson said.
"I'm just not that comfortable with anything right now".