The rivalry between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson has captivated golf fans for more than 20 years, but the once-intense on-course competition between two all-time greats has taken a more cordial turn in recent memory, leading to a friendly post-Thanksgiving matchplay event that should still draw plenty of eyeballs.
Woods and Mickelson rank one-two for most major tournament wins among active golfers. Their pedigree speaks for itself, and both have achieved legendary status in the game.
Here is an in-depth look at how their career paths have intersected over time leading up to “The Match,” a celebration of the longstanding competition between the two.
Tiger Woods’ career record, highlights
Woods has been on the winning end of an astounding 80 PGA Tour events. The Arnold Palmer Invitational and Bridgestone Invitational have been especially kind to Woods. He has won each eight times, but hasn’t won either tournament in five years. Of course, Woods
The Tour Championship hosted Woods’ triumphant return to PGA glory on Sept. 23, 2018, when he won by two strokes, his first victory since the Bridgestone in 2013.
Woods’ most successful calendar year came in 2000, when he earned nine PGA Tour wins.
Phil Mickelson’s career record, highlights
Although his PGA Tour wins (43) barely total half as many as Woods, Mickelson has had plenty of career success in his own right. No event has treated him better than the AT&T Pro-Am at Pebble Beach, which he has won four times. Similar to Woods, Mickelson endured a major gap in tournament wins before coming out on top at the WGC-Mexico Championship in March 2018, breaking a nearly five-year drought.
Tiger vs. Phil: Who has won more majors?
Woods owns the most major victories by any active golfer (14) and has the second-most all time, behind just Jack Nicklaus. Woods’ first major win came in the 1997 Masters, when he became the youngest golfer to win the tournament at age 21. He has yet to win a major since 2008, when he defeated Rocco Mediate by one stroke in a playoff at the U.S. Open.
Woods also won four consecutive majors, spanning from the 2000 U.S. Open to the 2001 Masters.
Mickelson has five major championships to his name, include three green jackets at The Masters. The only major he has not won is the U.S. Open, a famously elusive tournament for Mickelson, but he has finished as the runner-up in the event six times.
Tiger vs. Phil most memorable moments
Woods and Mickelson have been grouped together on 37 separate occasions through their careers, most recently during the Players Championship in May 2018. Their first head-to-head meeting came at the 1997 NEC World Series of Golf, where they both shot a 72.
Woods won 10 of his first 18 head-to-head meetings with Mickelson and holds the 18-15-4 edge all time.
Then there’s the Ryder Cup, an event both lone-wolf golfers notoriously have struggled in. They were paired together for the first time in 2004, but had a less than successful run, losing in the four-ball and foursome sessions on that day.
The 2005 Ford Championship played host to one of the better showdowns between the two when they were both in final group of the fourth round. Woods ultimately shot a 66 — three strokes better than Mickelson’s 69 — to win the tournament.
More recently, Woods and Mickelson were in the same group for the first two rounds of the 2018 Players Championship, and the ensuing press conferences furthered the more lighthearted relationship between the two.