Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson tee off on each other ahead of Players first round

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SportsPulse: USA TODAY Sports’ Steve DiMeglio thinks Tiger Woods can contend at the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass, but only if he can fix one vital part of his game.
USA TODAY Sports

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Phil Mickelson broke out the needle.

Tiger Woods responded with a hammer.

Ahead of the first two rounds of The Players Championship, where the marquee group of Mickelson, Woods and Rickie Fowler will have everybody’s attention, Mickelson on Tuesday tried to goad Woods into a mano-a-mano clash of the titans during his meeting with reporters.

“Why don’t we just bypass all the ancillary stuff of a tournament and just go head-to-head and just have kind of a high-stake, winner-take-all match,” Mickelson said. “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.”

A few hours later, Woods teed up his retort.

“I’m definitely not against that,” Woods said. “We’ll play for…

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