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TUCSON, Ariz. — Like the rest of the golf world, Phil Mickelson says he’s grateful that Tiger Woods is still alive.
Mickelson finished his pro-am round on Thursday at the Omni Tucson National Golf Course ahead of the PGA Tour Champions Cologuard Classic and then met the media, with the first question being about Woods, who was injured in a single-car accident on Tuesday morning in Los Angeles.
“All the guys here understand and appreciate what he has meant to the game of golf and for us and the PGA Tour,” he said. “We all are very appreciative and supportive of what he’s done for us, but right now that’s so far from our minds.
“And I thought Rory McIlroy really said it well when he said that we’re just lucky and appreciative that his kids didn’t lose their father. We all are hoping and praying for a full and speedy recovery, but we’re also thankful, because that looked awful, and we’re thankful he’s still with us.”
Mickelson, who is seeking to become the first player to win his first three starts on PGA Tour Champions this week, was later asked about how his relationship with Woods changed over the years.
“We were opponents. … You know, competing against each other for quite some time,” Mickelson said. “Then we started working together to try to get the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup team events, to get our players to play our best, and then we became partners in developing a couple of matches. It’s been fun to be able to work with him. Again, I realize, just like all the guys here do, how much he’s meant to the game of golf and the growth and getting us off the back page and onto the front page. We’ve all benefited from him.
“It has really evolved from competing against each other to working with each other.”