Golf

Mickelson relishing a ride with Tiger at Ryder Cup

Phil Mickelson has dangled the mouth-watering prospect of a possible pairing with a resurgent Tiger Woods at this week's Ryder Cup.

For years, the rivalry between the men was one of golf's talking points and their disastrous first-day pairing in the 2004 competition came to encapsulate an American team many observers felt for years was riven by egos.

The team's two biggest names were sent out together in the opening match by captain Hal Sutton to make a statement but they lost to Colin Montgomerie and Padraig Harrington.

In the afternoon, Sutton stuck with his plan, with the same result as they lost to Darren Clarke and Lee Westwood, setting the tone for America's biggest Ryder Cup defeat, and on home soil too.

It is baggage the two men have carried for 14 years; they have not combined since in the Ryder Cup.

Mickelson, who has played a lead role over the past four years helping create a more harmonious spirit in the US team, said both would be keen to walk out together.

"I think we would both welcome it," Mickelson said at Le Golf National after a practice round with Woods and US rookie Bryson DeChambeau.

Mickelson, 48, is playing in his 12th Ryder Cup and has never been part of a winning team on European soil. He and Woods were both wild card selections by US captain Jim Furyk.

In Paris, Furyk and his players are sparing no effort to display what appears to a growing camaraderie in the US camp. Mickelson refused to be drawn on why his relationship with Woods had soured in the past.

Asked whether anything could be read into Tuesday's practice pairings, Furyk said: "Today is about trying to learn the golf course and hit some solid shots.

"There may be some pairings out there... they are all very aware of who they will be playing with this week." - REUTERS

Golf