Phil Mickelson: “Dear Tiger, thank you for all that you’ve done for this great game of golf. No one has benefited more than me and I just wanted you to know I appreciate you and all you’ve done. That’s all. Thank you.”
Five-time Major winner Phil Mickelson made an extremely vague tweet on Wednesday night that triggered a viral uproar among golf fans wondering what the heck he was talking about.
Days after finishing 51st at the BMW Championship at an unsightly +11, and failing to quality for this weekend’s Tour Championship, Mickelson crafted a tweet at his old rival with the words: ‘Dear Tiger, thank you for all that you’ve done for this great game of golf. No one has benefited more than me and I just wanted you to know I appreciate you and all you’ve done. That’s all. Thank you.’
The tweet seemed a bit unsettling considering the US Open at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York would be the next time Woods plays in two weeks. Would Woods really make the 2020 US open his FINAL US Open in front of zero fans?
Woods has won the US Open three times, including wins at Pebble Beach (2000), Bethpage (2002), and Torrey Pines (2008). His win at the 2019 Masters would give him automatic qualifications to the 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023 US Opens regardless of his play at other tournaments, given the US Open’s qualifying rules which award all major winners automatic bids for five years after their win.
Woods has won 5 Masters (1997, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2019), and given their lifetime invitations for past champions, Woods could effectively play in the Masters Tournament forever.
Despite Tiger winning 15 Majors during Mickelson's prime that included 7 runner-ups in Majors for Mickelson, the 2002 US Open was the only time Mickelson finished 2nd to Woods at a Major.
After winner The ZOZO Championship in late October, and finishing fourth at the Hero World Challenge in early December, Woods was looking towards making an early surge in 2020. It sure seemed that way in late January when Woods finished a respectable ninth at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Then came Woods’ freefall, first at the Genesis Invitational in mid-February where he finished 68th. After a five month break because of the coronavirus pandemic, Woods finished 40th at the Memorial Tournament, July 16-19, 37th at the PGA Championship, August 6-9, 58th at TPC Boston, August 20-23, and then 51st August 27-30 at the aforementioned BMW Championship.
When asked by one Twitter user ‘Phil, are we allowed to ask what sparked this tweet?’ Mickelson simply responded ‘Random appreciation.’
Woods is 44-years-old.
Julius Boros at age 48 is the oldest golfer to ever win a major (1968 PGA Championship). Jack Nicklaus was 46, and Arnold Palmer was 34 when they won their last major victories.