United States team captain Paul Azinger, right, and USA's Phil Mickelson pose with the Ryder Cup during a photo shoot at the 2008 Ryder Cup. (AP/Chris O'Meara)
on PGA Tour Radio
I had some big games with Mickelson. He was virtually unbeatable. Payne Stewart and I were playing Ben Crenshaw and Mickelson. By the time we got to the 18th hole at Bay Hill, it had gotten a little out of hand … We get to the last hole, and it's like $1,600. We get to the 18th green, and we all have birdie putts. Mickelson is the closest, and he has about a 14-15 footer down the hill. We all miss … If (Mickelson) makes it, we lose $1,600. If we beg out, we forfeit $800. But if he misses it, we only lose $400. So Payne says, 'I'm out.' I said it was downhill, right-to-left. He's not making it.
So Crenshaw jumps in and says, 'I'll take Payne's side.' So he gets his guaranteed $800. I looked at Mickelson, and I don't know if I can say this, but I said, 'Putt it, bitch.' Mickelson looks at me and walks over to the putt. Dead center. He makes it dead center and smiles. Payne starts smiling and high-fiving Mickelson because I just lost $1,600 and he only lost $400. I was so mad. That's when I knew Mickelson was going to be a really good player. I just knew it.
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