Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods left frustrated at Quail Hollow

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Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson paired together for the first two rounds of the Players Championship this week at TPC Sawgrass marks the first time the two will play in the same group since the 2014 PGA Championship.

Tiger Woods reacts to his shot on six during the final round of the Wells Fargo Championship golf tournament at Quail Hollow Club.

Winners over the years have ranged from favorites such as Woods, Phil Mickelson, Greg Norman and David Duval, to the likes of outsiders such as South Korean Kim, New Zealander Craig Perks, South African Tim Clark and Canadian Stephen Ames.

It's the Players Championships in the US; I haven't tipped Tiger Woods but I feel he is close to winning soon.

"Not against that", said Woods, flashing a grin. "We are normally paired up on the weekend if we are both playing well, and even that's a rarity".

"I love that we're paired together, I think it's really fun".

Before that, we will get the privilege of watching both men striding side by side at Sawgrass tomorrow and Friday, at a time in life where they retain enough of the magic to suggest there are one or two golden days still ahead.

"Now, I don't know if he wants a piece of me", he said, pausing for laughter, "but I just think it would be something that would be really fun for us to do, and I think there would be a lot of interest in it if we just went straight to the final round".

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"Now it's different. I feel better, and my short game has turned around", he said. "I'm like, 'are you serious?' I got a chance to know him by him coming over to the house, going out to dinners, just hanging out, and he's just a great kid".

When Woods turned pro in 1996, the elder Mickelson had already won nine times on the PGA Tour.

Woods, 42, and Mickelson, 47, have combined to win 19 major championships and a total of 122 PGA Tour titles.

It hasn't always gone Woods' way, though, especially in more recent times.

He used just 11 strokes in the last four holes to force a play-off, then saw off Garcia and Kevin Kisner to clinch a stunning victory. Although Woods' accomplishments are the stuff of legend, he and Mickelson crossed paths rarely in those prime years.

Mickelson won earlier this year at the WGC event in Mexico, halting a five-year-drought after his 2013 British Open. The best of the bunch was Vijay Singh, who threw a 66 at Woods and Mickelson in the second round of the 2007 Deutsche Bank.

"I just remember that was a tough stretch of years for me playing against him", Mickelson said. "People, in conversation with other people, players with other players, it's come out dozens of times how dominant he was, how good he was".

When Woods and Mickelson go head-to-head this week, with Fowler rounding out the super-group, we'll all be a witness. Because every main event needs an undercard, it put Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas together.

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