PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. ' Two of the sporting worlds most popular left-handers got together to play some golf Wednesday when a football game broke out.
Phil Mickelson joined University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow to play 18 holes at Timuquana Country Club in Jacksonville. When they were done, they pulled out a football and started winging passes up and down the 18th fairway.
Phil and Tim had a lot of fun together, said Clint Avret, the head golf professional at Timuquana who played safety on a Georgia Southern football team (1987-91) that won two national championships. Out on the course, Phil was helping Tim with his swing technique. When they started throwing the football, Tim was helping Phil with his throwing technique.
Mickelson and Tebow both play golf left-handed, though Mickelson throws right-handed.
Mickelson, one of the favorites in Thursdays start to The Players Championship, likes to use Wednesdays to get away from the course where hes competing. After a practice session with his coach, Butch Harmon, in the morning at the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course, Mickelson met Tebow at Timuquana. Avret said he believes it was the first time Mickelson and Tebow met.
Mickelson shot 6-under-par 66 in their round together, Tebow shot 80 and Avret, a 76.
Tebow, the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner, led the Gators to a national championship last season. Mickelson, an avid sports fan, is a three-time major championship winner.
Though Mickelson and Tebow didnt stage a long-hitting contest, Avret said the power display was impressive, with Tebow nearly as long off the tee as Mickelson, though obviously not as accurate.
When they both caught hold of one, they were close, Avret said. They really hit it off, talking golf and football and sports.
Avret said he kept the round under wraps so Mickelson and Tebow could enjoy a private round, but that the popular lefties stuck around afterwards to sign autographs for members.