A Woods-Mickelson grudge match


SAN FRANCISCO – If you don’t think Tiger Woods wears his most intense game faces at the Presidents Cup, you haven’t seen him at the Ping-Pong table in his matches with Phil Mickelson.

That's the word from Hunter Mahan, who is impressed at how serious the games get.

“Last year, Montreal was very fun, because Phil beat him the first time, and, as my caddie said, Tiger went into major mode,” Mahan said. “He literally stepped away, and turned his head away, and came back like a whole new man. They don't dislike each other, they are just not good friends, but they hate losing to one another, there's no doubt about that.”

Mahan didn’t see this year’s Mickelson-Woods Ping-Pong showdown. Why? To his consternation, Sean O’Hair told media they were out relaxing over drinks when it was staged.

“I was out drinking Scotch with Sean,” Mahan said. “I can't believe he told you that.”

Mickelson is reportedly dominating Ping-Pong in the team room this year. He beat Woods again.

“Again, it happened, yes,” Mickelson confirmed.

Mickelson even put down Zach Johnson, who is by most accounts the best Ping-Pong player on the American team.

“Phil got the best of me [Tuesday] night,” Johnson said. “He's got this Zen voodoo junk on his serve that I don't think is even legal. Fundamentally, I'm certainly the best, but Phil has got some sort of spin stuff that I can't figure out yet. But I got him once, and it's going to be the trend. There are a couple of guys that can take me, but I think I've got the best of most of everybody.”

Anthony Kim appears eager to challenge Johnson. Though it couldn’t be confirmed, he claimed to have whipped Mickelson 3-0 in a Ping-Pong match.