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.
He would make solid pars on 11, 12, 13 and 14, including a 14-footer for par on 14-by far his longest made putt of the day-but three-putted from inside 20 feet to drop to three over.
On went Woods, too, racking up titles and setting records.
Woods was such a driven player in his prime - a stretch of 15 years - that his singular focus on winning tournaments - winning majors - created a certain distance for many.
"I've had the beating of him the last few times we've played, ' said Mickelson, smiling". "It was the most remarkable golf in the history of the game, and I think unrepeatable".
"I've won numerous times not playing well but (I) found a way to score and get the job done and that's what he's doing".
Mainly because of Woods, Mickelson has never been PGA Tour player of the year, has never been No. 1 in the world and has never won the money title. The one that has eluded him is the U.S. Open, where he is a six-time runner-up.
Fowler trailed leader Sergio Garcia by five shots on the back nine to play three years ago, only to produce a blistering finish on the demanding course.
Thankfully, age has brought about a mellowing in both men, and it was a real eye-opener listening to Mickelson on Tiger circa the turn of the century.
"'Everything feels balanced in my life; I've got no problems at home or distractions; I'm focused on golf", Day said on Tuesday ahead of the TPC Sawgrass event.
"The guys today look back and they say, 'Come on, how much better could he have been?' and so forth". And it just goes to show they weren't there to witness it'. - If the Tuesday trash talk has been any indication, this Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson pairing at The Players Championship deserves to be a mic'd up, pay-per view event.
It will be the first time Woods and Mickelson have played in the same group since the 2014 PGA Championship.
"As I look at the cover of the newspaper and the pairing is on there and the excitement that's been going on around here, it gets me thinking, 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-stake, winner-take-all match?"
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