Tiger Woods paired with Phil Mickelson

Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson will tee it up together at TPC Sawgrass

Frustration was the name of the game for both Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods, as their respective attempts to use the final round of the Wells Fargo championship at Quail Hollow as a morale-boosting dress rehearsal ahead of The Players proved to be an elusive ambition for each of them. (And we'd be remiss in forgetting their celebrated practice round at this year's Masters.) However, as both have regained semblances of formidability in the late stages of their careers, the grouping is the rare showcase of living legends with something left in the tank. "I look at 2000 as being kind of the benchmark at the U.S. Open and being the greatest golf I've ever witnessed and I believe has ever been played".

Woods says he is looking forward to The Players Championship and greens at the TPC Sawgrass that he has learned over the years. This year, the victor will earn three-year exemptions for all four majors on Tour - not to mention a five-year PGA Tour exemption.

But don't let that make you think that Harman has totally written of a Woods victory. "Hit some good drives that just ended up off the fairway, some landed in the fairway, so I wasn't disappointed with that".

"The better than most" quote is attributed to NBC analyst Gary Koch, who described the long putt on the island green as it tracked toward the hole and dove into the cup.

Mickelson had earlier offered effusive praise of just how powerful Woods was in his prime. The five-time major champion won for the first time since 2013 at the WGC-Mexico Championship, defeating the red-hot Justin Thomas in a playoff.

Mickelson spoke Tuesday of his wish that he and Woods simply "bypass the ancillary stuff" at the Players in favor of a head-to-head matchup.

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"Also have to give him a break". "We've been going at it for the better part of over 20 years, and it's fun for both of us to be able to do that". To his credit, Woods pointed to his short game as propping him up early in his return to tournament golf.

Lefty still got in a few jabs that year. And the crowds, I think you notice them a little bit more around this golf course because of how close together everything is.

"Well he has won two times there, he's finished up there other times".

Woods reached out to Mickelson when his wife, Amy, was diagnosed with breast cancer. That's how it always is now with Woods, who appears to care more and more about answering questions earnestly, knowing the gravity his words carry across the sporting world. And he offered numerous times to help me out with technique and just talk about it and philosophy.

"I didn't putt well again", Wood told CBS television. "I said, 'Yeah, you and I have the same philosophy in how we approach chipping and how we do it".

"But now it's different".

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