Phil Mickelson says Tiger Woods has brought the best out in his game the last few years

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Shane Bacon
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This Tuesday at Oak Hill meant press conference day, and a long list of the best in the world took to the podium at the PGA Championship to talk about the expectations this week and just about anything else in the game of golf.

Tiger Woods was there, but so was British Open champion Phil Mickelson, long the No. 2 to Tiger leading the charge.

Mickelson is coming off some of the best golf of his career in Scotland, winning both the Scottish Open and the Claret Jug at Muirfield, and was asked about what Tiger does for Mickelson's game and career.

"... Certainly my record doesn't stand up to what (Tiger's) done in the game. It's just incredible what he's accomplished with the number of wins, the number of majors and the consistency that he's shown throughout his career. But in the last five or six years, I've had some pretty good success head‑to‑head and I feel like he brings out the best golf in me. He's a great motivator for me. He's helped me work hard. He's helped me put forth the effort to try to compete at the highest level year‑in and year‑out, and I've loved competing against him. He's really brought the best out of me, especially when we've been paired together, and I hope that we are able to play together for many more years."

These comments from Phil shouldn't be that surprising.

Before Tiger Woods, Phil was battling a number of guys, happy to be the most talented in the group that would occasionally snag a win or compete in a major championship. In the last six years Mickelson has become a force, winning two majors and being a factor in countless others, but it's his battles against Tiger that have improved.

In the old days Phil looked afraid of the force that is Tiger. Now at the youthful age of 43, Mickelson looks like would enjoy nothing more than getting Tiger in the final group of this week's PGA Championship and hope to do what he did to Woods at Pebble Beach a year ago.

I know a few million other people that wouldn't mind seeing those two bring in the pins on Sunday at Oak Hill.

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