Mickelson: Tiger's run 'greatest golf' ever played

Day takes lead at Wells Fargo Mc Ilroy and Woods adrift

A two-time victor of an event dubbed the unofficial fifth major, Woods will be in the field for the first time since 2015 when he tees off alongside Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler on Thursday.

"We've always had a mutual respect over the years, and I've always appreciated what (Tiger's) done for the game of golf", Mickelson said.

"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.

"I know they tried that first experiment in 2008 - 1, 2, 3, we're out together (at the U.S. Open, where they were grouped according to the world rankings) - and that was a blast for both of us".

McIlroy - playing competitively for the first time since the Masters last month - once again struggled with his game, while Woods had his first birdie-free round since the 2014 WGC championship at Doral as he struggled with his putting.

"Why don't we just bypass all the ancillary stuff of a tournament and just go head to head and just have kind of a high-stakes, winner-take-all match?" "I think there would be a lot of interest in it if we just went straight to the final round".

"I've won out here numerous times not playing well, but (have) found a way to score and get the job done, and that's what he's doing".

While talking about being paired with Woods at the Players Championship, Lefty had high praise for his rival (starting at the 8:07 mark).

"It was 12 years between wins here, and so, as y'all know, just looking at my record, I didn't play this place well".

"2015 first of all, he hit the ball unbelievably well", Woods said at the Players Championship on Tuesday.

Woods had the flawless responses to questions about Mickelson's challenge.

"I played the back nine today and it's absolutely ideal", he said. While he was obviously joking, there's also a bit of truth to it considering Mickelson is enjoying a revival of sorts in 2018. "We have always looked at each other and said, 'Where is he on the board?' That's what Arnold [Palmer] and Jack [Nicklaus] used to do all the time". "It really did. You look at it, and you say, how are you going - how am I going to beat this?"

"He offered numerous times to help me out with technique and just talk about it, " Woods said.

"You have to hit the ball well at TPC, you can't get away with hitting it poorly".

"If you watch him, his swing looks a lot better", says Harman.

"It's not so bad if you miss the greens if you miss them in the correct spots".

They have played as a twosome in the final group just twice in their careers, and Woods won both times - in 2005 at Doral to return to No 1 in the world, and in 2001 at the Masters when he completed his sweep of the majors.

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