Tiger Woods’ daughter, Sam, was not the only person inside the ropes Monday at the Deutsche Bank Championship outfitted in her dad’s traditional final-round black and red. Phil Mickelson, who kicks his game into overdrive when going head-to-head with his favorite rival, traipsed across the sodden grounds of TPC Boston in the finale of last week’s FedExCup playoff event sporting Tiger’s chromatic signature.
Perhaps Lefty, who torched his famous playing partners, Woods and Adam Scott, in Friday’s opener to the second of four FEC tournaments, was hoping to conjure up a bit of the magic from day one when he fired an 8-under 63. While Woods bettered Mickelson in Saturday’s second round (67-71), it was the world’s third-ranked golfer who garnered the headlines with his flirtation with firing a 59 and later reiterated that No. 1 fires up his competitive juices more than any other opponent.
"After today," Mickelson said following Friday’s finish about whether he believed Woods still inspired him to play at the top of his game, "it’s hard to think any differently."
It’s a sentiment the popular southpaw has shared before, prior to last month’s PGA Championship, for example.
"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," Mickelson told reporters ahead of the PGA Championship earlier this month. "He's a great motivator for me."
Mickelson noted then that watching Woods win so much throughout his career incited him to "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," Mickelson said, "and I hope that we are able to play together for many more years."
Since both legends were out of it before Monday’s rain-delayed mop-up began, perhaps Mickelson was searching for any little spark to propel him into the conversation and figured channeling his inner Tiger by donning his adversary’s black and red was one way to do it.
Alas, Mickelson chalked up his third straight 71 and, as far as the cuteness factor in the Tiger Woods look-alike outfit department, Phil came in a distant second to six-year-old Sam Alexis (video courtesy of PGATour.com).