Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods is still the rivalry we all want to see.

I like to watch golf. I’m not every an every weekend golf fan, but I know the players. I normally watch the majors and some of the bigger golf events. I also tune in when Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods are both in contention. Judging by Sunday’s TV ratings, which were CBS’s highest Pebble Beach ratings in 15 years; I wasn’t the only one watching either. Let’s face it Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods is still the rivalry we all want to see.

For years we’ve been searching for a rival to Tiger Woods. We thought it would be Ernie Els, Vijay Singh, maybe Padraig Harrington. We wanted to anoint Rory Mcilory as Tiger’s biggest challenger since he could walk but really it’s Phil Mickelson and it’s always been Phil Mickelson.

Now when history looks back Woods will have gotten the better of Mickelson. You can’t deny Woods 71 victories vs Mickelson’s now 40, or the 14-4 lead in majors, but the future Hall of Famer Mickelson is still the only player in the world outside of Woods that can move the golfing needle. Going into 2012 it seemed we might never see these golfing greats battle on a Sunday while both in contention.

Tiger’s issues have been well documented, from his knee issues, to his swing problems, to his personal life. He hadn’t won since 2009, and no I don’t count the 18 person exhibition he won in December. Phil had his wife’s and mother’s cancer to deal with. He had his own health to worry about, that being his arthritic condition. His own inconsistent game led us to believe his best days may be behind him.

In the Final Round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am we saw Phil Mickelson at his finest firing a scintillating 64 to win the event by two strokes, after starting the day six shots back. Mickelson wiped out his playing partner Woods by a whopping 11 shots, but they were in the 2nd to the last group and we wanted to see what happened.

Phil with his win confirms that when he is on he is still one of the best players on the planet, maybe the best. He’ll get a boost of confidence with the win, and I suspect he’ll contend if not win again heading into April’s Masters. There are signs Tiger’s game is finally coming around as well. At his last 3 sanctioned golf events he had a 3rd at the Australian Open in November, a T3 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and now T15 at Pebble Beach, where he was in the top 10 until late in the 4th round.

Woods will never be the dominating player he was a decade ago. That just won’t happen. He’ll never have the intimidation factor he once had, but if you keep putting yourself in position to win you’ll eventually breakthrough. Right now Tiger must still work out his mental issues. Basically he has to learn how to win again. When that happens Tiger can again be one of the 5 best players in the World, and who wouldn’t want to see more Phil and Tiger battles? I know I do.


  1. Benno says:

    Good post, but, Phil is actually ahead of Tiger when paired together. And, in the last 10 times against Tiger, Phil is 6-3-1. So, while Tiger will always have the best history, as of now Phil has the better record 1 on 1.

  2. Virgilio Huch says:

    Rhythm and consistency are important, so how you get ready both physically and mentally for the game is essential. Tiger has a practice routine that he does before every single game. He uses the same clubs, and the last club he uses for his pre-game warm-up is the one he plans to use for the first hole.”

    My favorite online site

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