Phil Mickelson may win his match against Tiger Woods on Friday, but he has no doubt who the best golfer on the course will be.
Woods is second all-time with 14 major championship victories and is also second with 80 total wins on the PGA Tour.
He also won three U.S. Amateur Championships, trumping Mickelson’s one.
“[Tiger is the] greatest of all time,” Mickelson told a news conference for The Match on Tuesday.
“That’s an easy one for me, I’ve seen him do things with a golf ball that’s never been done, the performance at the 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach is the single-greatest performance in the history of the game of golf and possibly all of sports, and he continued to play that way for a number of years.”
The best from two of the greatest to ever play.@TigerWoods and @PhilMickelson have been fan favorites for decades.#LiveUnderPar pic.twitter.com/1GYnFES6tw
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) November 21, 2018
But Mickelson was quick to say Woods’ contributions go far beyond what he did on the course.
“In 1997 when Tiger came along, won the Masters, he turned pro in ’96, and the game took on a whole different meteoric rise,” Mickelson said. “And the purses started to climb and the TV ratings started to climb, golf was on the front page of USA Today and it was a whole different revelation for the sport.
“I never imagined when I first started playing that golf would get to this level of relevancy in the world of sports and be so well known and have the athletes be so well known.”
Woods and Mickelson meet in their battle at Shadow Creek Golf Course in Las Vegas on Friday.