Tiger refutes bad blood with Phil: ‘the press has made it out to more than what it has been’

October 2, 2017

Much has been made of the alleged simmering rivalry between Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods over the past two-plus decades, but you certainly wouldn’t know it by their actions this week.

As an assistant captain to Steve Stricker, Woods attended this year’s Presidents Cup in a supporting role—and support he did.

There he was, smiling and raising his fist in celebration when Phil drained a clutch putt on the 18th hole on Friday afternoon to win his four-ball match against Marc Leishman and Jason Day 1 up, with partner Kevin Kisner.

He was there again when Phil put away Adam Hadwin in his Sunday singles match, 2 and 1, and this time it was with a warm congratulatory embrace.

These public “bromantic” displays of affection were so surprising to people that both Phil and Tiger were asked about their feelings toward each other at the press conference afterward.

“Tiger and I have been good friends and have gotten along very well in these team events for many years now,” said Mickelson. “Just because it doesn’t get reported or shown, is irrelevant. We’ve worked very well in these team events, and to share in our success has been really fun for us.”

“I think the press has made it out to more than what it has been,” Tiger added, referring to his supposedly acrimonious relationship with Phil. “We’ve been friends for a very long time. We’ve gotten very close by being on these teams. We’ve played against each other a lot down the stretch, and we have both enjoyed it.”

Well, count me among those still holding out hope for a Tiger/Phil four-ball pairing in Paris in 2018.