June 14, 2024
Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson will reunite at the U.S. PGA (Image: Getty Images for The Match)

Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson find themselves on opposite sides of the PGA Tour-LIV Golf fallout in recent years, and the old rivals will reunite at the PGA Championship this week

Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson will reunite at this week’s PGA Championship, with both set to attend the annual champions’ dinner which takes place on Tuesday.

Woods and Mickelson have undoubtedly had their differences in recent years, having had polarising views on the fallout between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf. Woods unsurprisingly remained loyal to the Tour, whilst Mickelson became a trailblazer for the Saudi-backed series in 2022.

The pair have rarely come across each other since, but this week will reunite in a more intimate atmosphere as guests of B rooks Koepka’s champions dinner in Kentucky ahead of the beginning of the 2024 U.S. PGA on Thursday.

The legendary pair have both enjoyed plenty success at the PGA. 15-time major champion Woods has won the The Wanamaker Trophy on four occasions during his career, with his victories coming in 1999, 2000, 2006 and 2007. Mickelson meanwhile has two PGA titles to his name.

His first came in 2005, before he made golfing history with his most recent triumph in 2021. In winning the PGA Championship three years ago, the HyFlyers captain became the oldest major champion in history, seeing off fellow LIV stars Louis Oosthuizen and Koepka at the age of 50 at Kiawah Island.

Just one year later though, Mickelson failed to attend his title defence having entered golfing exile after raising eyebrows by pledging his support to a start-up Saudi golf league now known as LIV Golf. The six-time major winner described the Middle Eastern state as ‘scary’ amid their poor human rights record, but committed support to the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia-backed project in order to ‘gain leverage’ over the PGA Tour.

Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson won the U.S. PGA in 2021 ( Image: Getty Images)

On the back of the comments, ‘Lefty’ took a step back from public life which led to him missing the chance to defend his PGA crown at Southern Hills one month before his LIV debut. Even in his absence Mickelson proved to be the talk of the tournament heading into the opening round, and Woods had his say on Mickelson’s Saudi comments.

“It’s always disappointing when the defending champion is not here,” the four-time winner said in 2022. “Phil has said some things that I think a lot of us who are committed to the Tour and committed to the legacy of the Tour have pushed back against, and he’s taken some personal time, and we all understand that…

“I have not reached out to him. I have not spoken to him. A lot of it has not to do with I think personal issues. It was our viewpoints of how the Tour should be run and could be run, and what players are playing for and how we are playing for it. I have a completely different stance on, and so no, I have not.”

Mickelson then made a return one year later in 2023, but one man who was then absent from the field was his old-rival Woods. The pair will now finally tee if up together at the second major of the year for the first time since 2020, and will be sat around the same table in honour of 2023 champion Koepka.

This will not be the first time the pair have shared an evening meal and glass of wine or two in recent weeks though. The pair were among the attendees at last month’s champions’ dinner at the Masters, after LIV’s record-breaking signing Jon Rahm played host after winning the green jacket in 2023.

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