Published: Sun, May 13, 2018
Sports | By Johanna Francis

Mickelson shrugs off 5th Players MC in 6 years

Mickelson shrugs off 5th Players MC in 6 years

Tiger Woods is sitting on the cut-line seesaw through 36 holes at the Players Championship.

The 42-year-old was staring at a six when he pushed his third to the right of the green and his pitch pulled up 10 feet short, but he rattled in the putt to limit the damage to a bogey which left him at level par.

But the vast galleries following the big-name threeball were treated to a vintage Woods eagle at the ninth, where he hammered a superb second over the trees to the fringe and he holed the putt from just inside 20 feet.

Few first-round pairings in memory will generate the buzz or crowds Woods, Mickelson and Rickie Fowler should today at 1:52 the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass.

Mickelson spoke recently of his wish that he and Woods simply "bypass the ancillary stuff" at the Players in favour of a head-to-head matchup. He finished in a tie for 32nd at this year's Masters, and he has previously committed to play in the US Open at Shinnecock Hills next month. Three pars to start isn't awful, but it's a bit disappointing with two of those holes being a par 5 and a drivable par 4. "I feel like I'm putting well".

The other Featured Group on Saturday morning includes good friends Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas, who each made the cut on the number after playing the first two rounds together (with Rory McIlroy, who missed the cut).

That year, Woods lost by a shot to Hal Sutton.

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"It was really cool yesterday, especially the first nine holes", Skovron said. "I'm doing better as time has gone on". I look at 2000 as being kind of the benchmark, at the US Open as being the greatest golf I've ever witnessed and I believe ever has been played.

Johnson notched six birdies at TPC Sawgrass to join fellow American Webb Simpson and Swede Alex Noren as clubhouse leaders on six-under-par 66.

"I don't care what people are talking about", he said. "We'll play for whatever makes him uncomfortable". "I think nobody does kind of slightly overweight middle-age guy better than me - and this says exactly who I am". He gave back a shot with a closing bogey on the front nine.

Woods' prettiest shot of the day might have been his tee ball at the hard 18th, a shot made even more impressive by the fact that he hit a pull-hook into the water on the same hole on Thursday. "I think they might have tipped back a couple and got a little sleepy". Woods said the two icons grew closer at the 2016 Ryder Cup and 2017 Presidents Cup, where the injured Woods was a vice-captain and Mickelson a competitor. I had a lot of fun, enjoyed being with the guys.

With the earlier nightmare experience on the 18 hole fresh in his mind, Padraig took the safe option off the tee, hitting the green in three shots to avoid the water.

"I actually really like it", said Mickelson, who is brand ambassador and equity holder in the menswear brand Mizzen and Main.

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