Tiger Woods to have a 'blast' partnering Phil Mickelson at Players Championship

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

In their premiere event of the golf season, it has grouped Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler together as well as Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy.

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 (May 10). They also played a practice round together at the Masters and it was one of the highlights of the week.

"I do enjoy it [playing with Mickelson] because we don't get to do it very often", Woods said.

On Tuesday at TPC Sawgrass, Mickelson was asked about the grouping, which is the first time he's played with Woods at The Players since 2001.

"I love that we're paired together, I think it's really fun", Mickelson said.

"It sucked to have to play against him", Mickelson said.

Woods took the golfing world by storm after winning the 1997 Masters and proceeded to win 14 majors over the next 11 years.

"Our friendship has gotten stronger over the years", Woods said of Mickelson, per Kevin Cunningham of Golf.com.

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"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".

But Day, who won the 2016 Players Championship, says the fire has returned as he enters a new chapter in his career.

Woods, who holds the record for most consecutive weeks (281) and total weeks (683) as World No.1, has no doubt 30-year-old Day can reclaim top spot. As for the level of excellence Woods reached when he set or tied 27 TOUR records in 2000, and when he owned almost every important title in golf in 2001, Fowler can only listen to the stories and shake his head.

Of course, if Woods gets in contention on the weekend, context and gratitude and thoughtfulness will all go out the window.

But if Mickelson seemed a tad tongue-in-cheek regarding the big show, it likely had something to do with his long and complicated history with Woods. "I think it was that good", Mickelson said. The two greats are paired together for the first two rounds, and they're excited. Although Woods' accomplishments are the stuff of legend, he and Mickelson crossed paths rarely in those prime years.

Throughout the duo's careers, the general consensus has been that there was some sort of animosity between them that went beyond the normal competitive fire. "It was some of the most impressive golf I've ever seen in my life and I think ever played".

"Things like that is what you need to win golf tournaments". He added two more green jackets in '06 and 2010 to go with a PGA Championship title in 2005 and a British Open victory in 2013.

"When I hit it, it was on a cracking line, it was handsome", the Australian told reporters after securing his 12th PGA Tour victory.

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