Mickelson wants Tiger pairing at Safeway Open


Phil Mickelson is scheduled to compete in October’s Safeway Open and he’s hoping to have a familiar face in his early draw.

Mickelson told ESPN.com on Wednesday that he’d like to be grouped with Tiger Woods during the PGA Tour’s 2016-17 season-opening event. Woods announced earlier in the day that he “hoped” to compete in the event, his first since August 2015.

"I'm hoping we can get paired together [at the Safeway Open.] That would be really fun. I would love it,” Mickelson said. “It's great to have him back, and hopefully he's physically able to practice the way he needs.''

Woods has missed more than a year of competition because of multiple back operations. He and Mickelson will get a chance to be reacquainted at the Ryder Cup, in three weeks, where Mickelson will be a member of the U.S. team and Woods will be a vice captain.

"I think it's great; I don't know the state of his health. I haven't seen him,'' Mickelson said. "I'm looking forward to spending time with him at the Ryder Cup. I think that'll be great motivation for him. Plus, he'll have a week off.”

The Safeway Open is Oct. 13-16 at Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa, Calif.

Woods and Mickelson have been grouped together 36 times and the two share a 16-16-4 head-to-head record.

Woods led 10-5-3 through the first 18 matchups. Mickelson has since gone 11-6-1.