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Tiger, Phil: We've been friends for years

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JERSEY CITY, N.J. – It was a scene that may have seemed unfathomable a decade ago. Here stood Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, once fierce rivals, sharing a hug after Mickelson closed out Adam Hadwin in the final singles’ match of the 12th Presidents Cup.

The duo whose frosty on-course behavior when paired together came to represent American shortcomings at the 2004 Ryder Cup have warmed in recent years after combining for a total of 19 major wins. Woods served this week as an assistant captain, while Mickelson took rookie Kevin Kisner under his wing and went 3-0-1 in the process.

“Tiger and I have been good friends and have gotten along very well in these team events for many years now,” Mickelson said. “Just because it doesn’t get reported or shown is irrelevant. We’ve worked very well in these team events, and to share our success has been really fun for us. We really enjoy seeing these teams thrive and succeed and being a part of it.”

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While Woods has not played in a team event since the 2013 Presidents Cup, he also served as an assistant at last year’s Ryder Cup at Hazeltine and echoed Mickelson’s sentiments that the two men have grown together in team rooms over the past two decades.

“I think the press has made it out to be more than what it has been. We’ve been friends for a very long time,” Woods said. “We’ve had some tough moments where we’ve lost some cups, and also the flip side is we’ve had some great success. Hopefully, going forward, we can continue doing it.”