2018 Players Championship: Phil Mickelson wants 'high stakes' match with Tiger Woods

You knew the Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson-Rickie Fowler group at the 2018 Players Championship would be fun. You just didn't know it would already be fun on Tuesday. That's when Phil Mickelson addressed the media and said forget the tournament, let's go Tiger-Lefty heads up for some, uh, denominations.

"I love that we're paired together," Mickelson said on Tuesday. "I think it's really fun. We haven't been paired together in years. As I look at the cover of the newspaper and the pairing is on there and the excitement that's been going on around here, it gets me thinking, 'Why don't we just bypass all the ancillary stuff of a tournament and just go head to head and have kind of a high-stakes, winner-take-all match?' Now I don't know if he wants a piece of me, but I just think it would be something that would be really fun for us to do. I think there would be a lot of interest in it if we just went straight to the final round."

Put every single bit of this directly into my veins.

There is precedent here, by the way. Mickelson and Sergio Garcia partnered in the made-for-TV 2003 Battle at the Bridges against Woods and Ernie Els. The 2004 version featured John Daly and Mickelson against Woods and Hank Kuehne. Then in 2005, it was Woods and Daly vs. Mickelson and Retief Goosen. 

But Woods and Mickelson have never gone against one another straight up like Woods did in separate made-for-TV matches with Garcia and David Duval. It would obviously crush, and there could be some legitimate money raised for charity.

Two years ago there was some buzz around a Rory McIlroy-Rickie Fowler made-for-TV event (featuring Justin Timberlake and Mark Wahlberg), but it never came to fruition. Hopefully this one will, and hopefully Mickelson is mic'd up for the entire thing. 

Regardless, this juices their grouping at Sawgrass this week even more, and you know Mickelson knows he has an all-time 15-14-3 advantage when they're paired. Odds on him letting Tiger know about that on Day 1? No longer on the board.

CBS Sports Writer

Kyle Porter began his sports writing career with CBS Sports in 2012. He covers golf, writes poetry about Rory McIlroy's swing, stays ready on Tiger watch and loves the Masters more than anyone you know.... Full Bio

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