Phil Mickelson drew first blood Sunday in his match against Tiger Woods at the BMW Championship.
OK, it is not a match, but you know they want to beat each other. It is not a head-to-head duel in part because Woods has to shoot at every flagstick in a bid to post a miracle round and avoid FedEx Cup playoff elimination. That probably contributed to his bogey at the second hole. He went straight at a flagstick tucked left and pulled his shot left into the gallery. He chipped to 5 feet and pulled his putt for par. Mickelson hit a controlled fade over the flag and two-putted from 20 feet for par.
Of course, Mickelson likes to hunt flagsticks no matter his situation, but the fact that his FedEx Cup position is so secure allows him to freewheel more.
Mickelson and Woods were both friendly but brief in their first tee greeting.
Mickelson then smashed his opening drive left but got a great kick into prime position in the fairway.
'That's got to be 350 yards,' a marshal in the landing area said.
It was 50 yards by the 3-wood that Woods hit into the fairway. They both opened with pars.
You would think Woods and Mickelson were in the final pairing playing for the title. The galleries following them are large and enthusiastic in support of both players.