Published: Sun, April 14, 2019
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Phil Mickelson: Don’t rule out Tiger Woods in 2019 Masters at Augusta

Phil Mickelson: Don’t rule out Tiger Woods in 2019 Masters at Augusta

From Magnolia Lane, a tree-lined drive that members use to enter the grounds, to Amen Corner, which may just be golf's most famous stretch of holes, Augusta National has become a place all golfers dream of seeing once before they die.

Last year's Masters champion, Patrick Reed, received a $1.98 million payout, and this year's victor can expect the same. I put myself there with a chance to win the last two major championships of the year last year.

"I think he's trending in that direction and I don't think it's just The Masters this year, Pebble Beach he has dominated around there in the past and he's also won around BethPage (PGA Championship)".

The fact is, Woods is the hot topic any time he tees it up at Augusta - four Green Jackets in a devastating spell from 1997 to 2005 are proof enough of his credentials. "You know, I was close a couple of times".

"But what I think is most productive is to look at where we are today, realize that throughout the history of this club, we have promoted the game, and we have now identified a really important segment, the fastest growing segment of the game, that we can help make a difference".

It's no secret that Mickelson likes to play his way into major form; he's played the week before the Masters 10 of the past 11 years.

"It's just the way it's always been", said South Africa's 2008 Masters champion Trevor Immelman. He's been playing such great golf consistently week in and week out.

Augusta National Golf Club is still basking in the glow of its first Women's Amateur, but don't expect a women's Masters featuring the world's top female pros at the fabled Georgia club.

He came extremely close to winning his 15th major at both the PGA Championship and The Open previous year, only to fall short on the final day in both tournaments.

And the four-time major victor has revealed how meditation, juggling and a wide variety of reading material helped him end a number of final-day failures and triumph at Sawgrass.

"I think he's bubbling away and I'm hoping he'll be in contention".

Another is the Par-3 contest over the short course around Ike's Pond on the eve of the Masters, before honorary starters Nicklaus, 79, and Player, 83, get the tournament under way on the first tee Thursday.

The Masters is the second-largest purse of the four major championships, with the the US Open offering the largest purse in golf at $12 million.

Ian Poulter also has three top-6 finishes, albeit in 13 appearances at Augusta, but missed the event in 2017, and had 40+ finishes either side. "I've already made those decisions on how I'm going to play".

"I've felt it and it's exciting to be part of and hopefully I can be part of it come Sunday night".

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