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Sports

August 31, 2013

Mickelson's star power shines brightest

(Continued)

Mickelson had said Woods “brings out the best in me” on Thursday after his pro-am round. When asked about that again after his 63, Lefty smiled and said, “After today, it’s hard to think any differently.”

Woods referred to the course as “gettable,” the same description he gave of Muirfield when Mickelson shot 66 on the final day to win the British Open, considered one of the great closing rounds in a major. That was the case, though. The TPC Boston was soft enough — and the fairways wide enough — to allow some low numbers.

Woods said his back felt fine, and there were no outward indications he was in any pain. The only thing that hurt was not hitting enough shots close for birdie chances, and missing a few at the end. Woods had a 6-foot birdie putt on the seventh and a downhill birdie putt from about 12 feet on his last hole, missing both of them.

“The back is good,” Woods said. “Unfortunately, I didn’t give myself a whole lot of looks.”

Even though the majors are over, and Mickelson added a big one at the British Open, the next month is a great chance for him. For all his greatness over the last two decades — 42 career wins on the PGA Tour, five majors and a spot in the Hall of Fame — he came along at the wrong time. Mickelson has never been player of the year, No. 1 in the world or tops on the PGA Tour money list. And he hasn’t won the FedEx Cup, now in its seventh year.

This might be his best chance. Mickelson feels great, though at 43 he was reminded he wasn’t getting any younger when he went home to San Diego last week to take his oldest daughter to high school.

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