Phil Mickelson says it feels like 'different time continuum' as he roots for Tiger Woods

Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Phil Mickelson says it feels like 'different time continuum' as he roots for Tiger Woods

PGA Tour

Phil Mickelson says it feels like 'different time continuum' as he roots for Tiger Woods

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson already brought massive intrigue to this year’s Masters. And then Tuesday happened.

In a move that seemed unfathomable a decade ago, the pair played together Tuesday in a practice round at Augusta National. (Fred Couples and Thomas Pieters were also in the group.)

These truly are amazing times.

In recent months, Woods and Mickelson have downplayed their past rivalry, insisting that they’ve been friends for years. They echoed that sentiment Tuesday.

Whatever the case, the perception existed that the two had tension in the past. So one had to wonder, how exactly did this practice round pairing come about?

It was remarkably simple, actually.

“(Phil) asked Joey (LaCava) if we had – we were free for a game,” Woods said. “And we were free yesterday, but he was taking the day off. And so Phil and I talked about it and decided to play today.”

Mickelson also talked through how this all transpired.

“We just ran into each other yesterday, and I have kind of changed my practice schedule, it’s taken me a while longer to catch on to what Tiger’s been doing, which is playing nine holes each day,” Mickelson said. “And I find that it allows me to not get as tired after a practice rounds and also easier to recover and I’m fresher when I do play and compete. So as my practice schedule has changed, it worked out well.”

But it really got interesting when Mickelson expounded on how their relationship has evolved.

Both men are now in their 40s – Mickelson at 47 and Woods at 42 – and are trying to find some late career glory. Mickelson won his first PGA Tour event in five years recently, and Woods has been on the cusp of his own breaking of a five-year win drought.

The 42-year-old came closest when he tied for second and finished a shot out of a playoff at last month’s Valspar Championship.

In a statement we could’ve never believed if you told us in 2004, Mickelson said, in a humorously quirky way, that he has been rooting for Woods to win.

“I texted him a while ago when he was playing at Valspar that it felt like it was a different time continuum because I found myself pulling so hard for him,” Mickelson said. “It was unusual. And I find that I want him to play well, and I’m excited to see him play so well.”

Again, amazing times.

Of course, the relationship still isn’t without its fair share of ribbing.

Mickelson showed up to the practice round in some, uhh, *interesting* attire.

AUGUSTA, GA – APRIL 03: Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson of the United States talk on the 11th hole during a practice round prior to the start of the 2018 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 3, 2018 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

And Woods wasn’t going to let him get away with putting out that outfit (specifically that shirt) unnoticed.

“I always give him a little bit of grief about that,” Woods said. “The only thing that was missing was a tie.”

Mickelson’s witty retort?

“I have a tie,” he said. “And I’ll wear it tonight.”

Just two buddies cracking jokes.

A different time continuum? Mickelson may be on to something.

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