Fourteen years ago, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods went 0-2 when paired together at the 2004 Ryder Cup. They lost both sessions on the opening day at Oakland Hills, falling in four-balls to Colin Montgomerie and Padraig Harrington and again in foursomes to Darren Clarke and Lee Westwood.
They have not been paired together in a team event since.
“I wouldn’t guess that would be a good idea as a captain, I’m just saying,” U.S. captain Jim Furyk said earlier this year.
But despite all of that, Tiger-Phil could still happen this week at Le Golf National.
“I think we would both welcome it,” Mickelson said Tuesday. (Woods was not asked about the potential pairing with Mickelson during his presser.)
The 48-year-old Mickelson and 42-year-old Woods have greatly improved their relationship in recent years. They were both instrumental voices on the Ryder Cup task force that was created a few years ago and this year have played several practice rounds together, including at the Masters. And this November, they will square off in a pay-per-view match at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas.
“We realized that we both have a lot more in common than we thought,” Mickelson said, “and I think we both have really come to appreciate working together to achieve things.”
Added Furyk: “Both Phil and Tiger have been really involved in our team atmosphere. … Both of them have been huge, huge leaders in our team room and have helped the younger players significantly, and both are excited to be playing this week. And the first time they have both been on a team together in quite some time, and it’s a lot of fun. They’ve always been big helps in the team room and guys we have relied on, captains have relied on in the past, players have relied on.”
Mickelson played a practice round Tuesday with Woods, Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed. But Mickelson wouldn’t reveal whether that meant he and Woods would reunite on the Ryder Cup stage.
“I do have an idea of what Captain Furyk is thinking,” Mickelson said with a smile.