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Phil Mickelson: Tiger Woods has his best swing ever

By
Alex Butler
Tiger Woods participates in a practice session on Tuesday at Le Golf National in Guyancourt near Paris. Photo by David Silpa/UPI
Tiger Woods participates in a practice session on Tuesday at Le Golf National in Guyancourt near Paris. Photo by David Silpa/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 25 (UPI) -- Longtime rival Phil Mickelson says Tiger Woods is swinging the club the best he's ever seen.

Mickelson made the comments when meeting with reporters on Tuesday as players participated in a practice round at Le Golf National near Paris, France, ahead of the Ryder Cup.

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Woods is coming off of his first win in five years, after claiming the 2018 Tour Championship on Sunday at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.

"[Tiger] has been playing some remarkable golf," Mickelson said. "This is the best I think I've ever seen him swing the club, even going back to 2000, when I thought he was at his best."

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"He is striking it so solidly that nobody was surprised -- that has played with him -- that he won. And now that that first win is out of the way, I think he's going to start rattling off some more."

Team USA's Ryder Cup squad is captained by Jim Furyk. David Duval, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Davis Love III and Steve Striker are vice captains.

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Along with Mickelson and Woods, the team includes Bryson DeChambeau, Tony Finau, Rickie Folwer, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed, Webb Simpson, Jordan Spieth, Bubba Watson and Justin Thomas.

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Thomas Bjorn captains the European squad, which includes: Paul Casey, Tommy Fleetwood, Sergio Garcia, Tyrrell Hatton, Rory McIlroy, Francesco Molinari, Alex Noren, Thorbjorn Olesen, Ian Poulter, John Rahm, Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson. Luke Donald, Padraig Harrington, Robert Karlsson, Graeme McDowell and Lee Westwood are vice captains for the European side.

The complete list of player pairings for the tournament will be available on Thursday, with the 2018 Ryder Cup teeing off on Friday.

Mickelson said he and Woods would welcome being paired in Paris. He was paired with Woods in 2004 at the tournament. The pair are set to duel in November for a $9 million winner-take-all matchup.

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"Looking back on my Ryder Cup career, it's not something that I have really enjoyed or liked seeing,'' Woods said. "I've played a lot of the matches. Of those previous seven Ryder Cups, I've sat out one session. Otherwise I've played every single match. We haven't done well.''

Woods is playing in the tournament for the first time since 2012. Team USA has won just once since 1999, with its last victory coming in 2008 at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville. The European's claimed three consecutive victories in 2002, 2004 and 2006.

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