Blog Entry

Woody and Lefty to duel again at Doral

Posted on: March 8, 2011 1:37 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2011 1:40 pm

DORAL, Fla. -- Six years ago, they staged the most memorable head-to-head shootout of their careers at the Doral Golf Resort & Spa.

This time, they will butt heads for 36 holes, at minimum.

Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson were paired together in the first two rounds of the Cadillac Championship, which begins Thursday at the gamed TPC Blue Monster.

It marks only the seventh time the two have been paired in the first round.

PGA Tour officials, who this season have begun gerrymandering groupings to increase attention and eyeballs, this week paired players according to their world ranking.

For instance, Nos. 1-2-3, Martin Kaymer, Lee Westwood and Luke Donald also will play together in the first two days at the World Golf Championships event, which has a 69-player field.

Woods and Mickelson, Nos. 5 and 6, will be joined by No. 4 Graeme McDowell.

At the 2005 Doral event, played before a massive crowd and at a fever pitch, Woods held off Mickelson by a stroke after Lefty barely missing a chip-in on the last hole to tie.

Amazingly, because the two are almost always sent off in opposite sides of the draw sheet for television purposes, they have been paired only 26 times over the years and Mickelson of late has put a huge dent on Woods' early nose-to-nose dominance. Each player has beaten the other 11 times, with Mickelson holding a 5-1-1 mark as far as shooting the lowest score in their last seven pairings.

For those curious about Mickelson's stark turnaround, read this:

All-Time Mickelson-Woods pairings on PGA Tour

Year Event                                    Rnd     Phil   Woods
1997 PGA Championship         Rd 4     75        75        TIE
1997 NEC Invitational              Rd 2     72        72        TIE
1997 Tour Championship         Rd 2     72        68        Tiger
1998 Nissan Open                   Rd 1     67        68        Phil
1998 Nissan Open                   Rd 2     76        73        Tiger
1999 U.S. Open Champ.          Rd 3     73        72        Tiger
2000 NEC Invitational              Rd 3     69        67        Tiger
2000 Buick Open                     Rd 3     65        67        Phil
2000 Tour Championship         Rd 1     67        68        Phil
2001 Players Champ.               Rd 3     72        66        Tiger
2001 Masters Tournament        Rd 4     70        68        Tiger
2002 Tour Championship         Rd 1     70        71        Phil
2002 Tour Championship         Rd 4     69        70        Phil
2003 Buick Invitational            Rd 4     72        68        Tiger
2005 Ford Champ. Doral         Rd 4     69        66        Tiger
2006 Ford Champ. Doral         Rd 3     72        68        Tiger
2006 PGA Championship         Rd 1     69        69        TIE
2006 PGA Championship         Rd 2     71        68        Tiger
2007 Deutsche Bank Champ.   Rd 1     70        72        Phil
2007 Deutsche Bank Champ.   Rd 2     64        64        TIE
2007 Deutsche Bank Champ.   Rd 4     66        67        Phil
2008 U.S. Open                      Rd 1     71        72       Phil                  
2008 U.S. Open                      Rd 2     75        68       Tiger
2009 Masters Tournament       Rd 4     67        68       Phil
2009 HSBC Champions *         Rd 4     69        72       Phil
2010 BMW Championship        Rd 4     67        70      Phil

Category: Golf

Since: Mar 10, 2011
Posted on: March 10, 2011 1:24 pm

Woody and Lefty to duel again at Doral

There is an asterisk (*) next to the 2009 HSBC Champions, but no accompanying explanation.  Does anyone know what it is for?

Since: Jan 16, 2010
Posted on: March 10, 2011 10:28 am

Woody and Lefty to duel again at Doral

Tiger and Phil will be playing together on Thursday and Friday only, unless they shoot the same same scores and would be paired together on Saturday. Viewership is not great for golf during the week and should suffer more with college basketball championships taking place. Perhaps the pairing was made to draw some interest. Keep in mind the tour does have a system in place to make pairings on Thursdays and Fridays. Thats why you will never see Tiger or Phil playing with a non winner or rookie for the opening 36 holes of a tour event.

Since: Mar 30, 2008
Posted on: March 10, 2011 1:39 am

Woody and Lefty to duel again at Doral

I don't understand why the PGA would team up Tiger and Phil if they want to increase viewership.  These are the two most popular golfers on tour.  If the PGA wants to increase viewership, they should have them in opposite groups to maximize the amount of time people are watching - when Tiger is on the course, people will be watching; when he's done, then Phil will be on the course.   It doesn't matter how they do, it just matters that they are drawing viewers (from the PGA's ad revenue perspective).

Since: Jan 16, 2010
Posted on: March 9, 2011 10:56 pm

Woody and Lefty to duel again at Doral

For those that are huge Tiger fans I think you tend to miss the boat on what the naysayers have to say. There is no doubt that Tiger is The PGA Tour, when he plays ratings are up, and thus so are the purses. There is no doubt that those that have never picked up a club or could give a hoot about the game will tune in if he is in contention and wash their cars if he's not. 

I have no doubt that at some point Tiger will return to form however I think its tough to do that sitting at home. He can hit all of the balls he wants, look at all of the tape, work with his instructor, work with his shrink, work with his trainner, but in the end there is no substitute for playing your way into contention and seeing how your game holds up. At this point I think Tiger is embarrassed about the state of his game and perhaps some of the mistakes he made off the course. In a team sport you can hide and have your teamates pick you up, in golf you are the team and you can look like a weekend hack on a daily basis. IMO Tiger needs to be out there embarrassing himself to begin the rebuilding process.

I think once Tiger returns to form things wiil be diffferent. Tiger has dominated those players over the age of 30. Most of the tournamets that Tiger won were lost. You would have the 54 hole leader shooting 73 or 74 where if they could have posted 69 or 70 they would have won going away. For those players under 30 they saw Tiger in his prime and these guys made him their target. The under 30 set will not fold as quickly as Ernie Els or the way Phil would if Tiger was in the hunt.

Tiger is still young and to talented not to figure things out. The question is is he as driven as he once was or is his off course issues or burnout starting to take its toal. The longer he goes without winning the tougher it will become thats why if he expects to win he needs to play more events.

Since: Feb 10, 2008
Posted on: March 9, 2011 7:39 pm

Woody and Lefty to duel again at Doral

5-1 over Tiger in 3 years sounds like Phil is whipping his ass. And actually golf is like baseball with each tournament or round being another game. If I was to beat my golfing buddy 10 times this summer by 10 strokes and he beat me once by 10 would that make us even on the summer ? I don't think so dumbass.

Since: Jun 17, 2008
Posted on: March 9, 2011 7:16 pm

Woody and Lefty to duel again at Doral

If you look at the last 6 times they were paired together, when Phil is supposedly 5-1, the actual stroke difference between Phil and Tiger.... DRUM ROLL.... two strokes. Phil over Tiger.

Golf is not baseball. Phil is not 5-1. He is two strokes up  =  insignificant difference over 108 holes. One lucky bounce here, one lipout there.

Since: Feb 27, 2011
Posted on: March 9, 2011 8:43 am

Woody and Lefty to duel again at Doral

Focus on the young guns ? Please !!!!!!!!!!!!!! You can't put any focus on these mechanical faceless , emotionless little dweebs . Whats to like about any of these dudes . No personality , no fire , no nothing , let alone they all dress as  if its the first day of Mardi Gras . Come on , lets face it . The tv people , the public , haters and non want Tiger to do his thing like he used to for one reason only ,  it's exciting and good for money .  The Tiger lovers watch because there man is doing well . The Tiger haters watch to see if he'll tank or if their fair haired so called all american boy Lefty can beat him . And non golf watchers will watch . WHY??? TIGER !!!!!! Nothing would make the audience better , the tournament better , and the tv stations happier than a big T I G E R at the top of the leaderboard . You can hate nd deny all you want , check the numbers since 1997 on golf ratings and money relative to a Tiger woods appearance at a golf tournament . And look out PGA , if Tiger cant get his mojo back and the new tv contracts come up for negotiation again . Not much a cha ching gonna go on there !!!!!!!!!!

Since: Oct 1, 2007
Posted on: March 8, 2011 11:20 pm

Woody and Lefty to duel again at Doral

It is so amazing how most commentors write Tiger off.  I don't play golf but I do follow it.  If Tiger is playing I try to watch.  If he's not playing I usually find other things to do.  What gets me is most of you "experts" think he's over the hill and will never win again.  It's time for the "young guns".  Put the cameras on the kids.  Yadayadayada.  Most commentors are more annoying than the media people they put down on these threads.  This isn't football folks.  Tiger is far from finished.  He won 14 majors in just 11 years, from his first in '97 to his last in 2008.  He's only 35.  Jack Nicklaus won his first in '62 and his last in '86.  That's a 24 year span.  He won his last at age 46.  You're all trying to tell me that in the next 11 years when Tiger turns 46 he won't win another tournament, never mind another major or two or three?  How about Ben Crenshaw.  Remember him all you know it alls.  He won the '95 Masters at age 43.  Tiger has 8 more chances to win another Masters before he reaches Crenshaw's age.  And if you need one more example, Tom Watson was just shy of his 60th birthday when he almost won the British Open, losing only because he missed an 8 foot put on the 72 hole.  So relax all you Tiger haters.  He WILL BE BACK whether you like it or not.  He's really still a "young gun" himself.

Since: Jan 16, 2010
Posted on: March 8, 2011 10:42 pm

Woody and Lefty to duel again at Doral

As was stated the best player in this group right now is Grahme McDowell. The only way Tiger will get his game back is to play tournaments. You can beat all of the balls you want and hustle your buddies at the local club but nothing comes close to playing under the gun.

Tiger is going thru a tough time and its no different then a hitter in baseball or a basketball player that cant find his shot. You must play and take your medicine to cure your ills. I know Tiger feels embarrassed on how far his game has slipped but in reality its to be expected nobody dominates the game year after year as the odds eventually catch up.

Tiger will have to get himself back into contention and fail a few times before he can regain form.

Phil IMO continues to throw away way too many shots. The guy guns every putt he stands over making bogies where they do not exist. Phils goal was more than likely to catch and pass Tiger. Now that Tigers game is in the toilet mission accomplished. Phil is a rich man and has been thru some tough family issues. 

Based on what I see I question the motivation or drive that either of the guys have. Yes I would expect them to show up and prepare for the 4 majors and perhaps The Players but that would it. Both Tiger and Phil have the talent to run away with an event but I dont see either of these two with the game or the drive as some of the under 35 crowd.

Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: March 8, 2011 6:51 pm

Woody and Lefty to duel again at Doral


I hope Phil does well, but his performance over the last year and some months, when he had so many chance to surpass Tiger in the rankings, does not give me hope.

I only hope Tiger continues to tank.

And yes, I'll be watching the tournament solely to see Phil hopefully win and Tiger hopefully tank. If it doens't look like that's happening, I'll turn it off.

Go Phil!

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