GUYANCOURT – Phil Mickelson is so impressed with Tiger Woods‘ golf game right now that he jokingly said he wants to negotiate a shot on each side when the two meet for their $9 million, winner-take-all showdown Thanksgiving weekend.
“Tiger striped it today. I think he missed one fairway for the round,” Mickelson told reporters in France, after Tuesday’s practice round at Le Golf National ahead of the Ryder Cup.
“This is the best I think I’ve ever seen him swing the club, even going back to 2000, when I thought he was at his best. He’s striking it so solidly that nobody was surprised that has played with him that he won (the Tour Championship).”
The United States is trying to capture the Ryder Cup on foreign soil for the first time in 25 years. While Mickelson is bullish on Woods’ game, he enters the week with plenty of work to do with his own.
Mickelson finished last at the Tour Championship and tied for 58th in the 70-player field at the BMW Championship in the third leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs.
He won the WGC-Mexico Championship in March but struggled through an inconsistent summer. Mickelson has more missed cuts (three) than top-10 finishes (one) since Mexico — and he would have added more if there had been cut lines the past two tournaments.
“The last two weeks have been the two worst putting weeks of the year for me, so I’m going to spend more time with the putter,” Mickelson said. “It’s Tuesday. We have two more practice rounds. I don’t want to put too much time into it. I’m not trying to get fine tuned. I’m just trying to get posture, alignment, basic fundamentals matched up for the swing, so I still have a little bit of work to do.
“I didn’t strike it the way I wanted to, but the last two weeks were the worst putting weeks of the year, and hopefully I can turn that around.”
Captain Jim Furyk isn’t providing any hints about potential matchups he will roll out this week. He is expected to pair veterans such as Woods and Mickelson with some of the team’s younger players, but Mickelson said he would be all for teaming with the red-hot Woods.
“I think we would both welcome it,” Mickelson said. “I think that we both have really come to appreciate working together to achieve things.”
–Field Level Media