The page has turned from the 2010 Masters, and both Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson come to Quail Hollow with different feelings than when they were at Augusta earlier in April.
Woods is making his second appearance on the 2010 PGA Tour after finishing in fourth place at the Masters. He was on a five-month, self-imposed hiatus from golf after a sex scandal became public revealing that he had multiple affairs.
While Woods talked about a sense of normalcy reemerging in his life, Mickelson discussed his Masters victory and his celebration at Krispy Kreme.
“I have to say this feels a heck of a lot more normal than the Masters did,” remarked Woods after the competition of his Pro-Am round. “I just need to go out there … and get back into tournament mode again.
“I think two weeks in a row competing [including next week's Players Championship] is — I’ll have a better barometer of what normal really feels like because I haven’t done that in awhile.”
Mickelson’s conference was far from the questions that Woods entertained, as he talked about winning his third green jacket, and the emotions that have come from it.
“It’s probably the most important win that I’ve had, not because of having not won a major in four years or what happened at Winged Foot [where he lost the 2006 U.S. Open] or anything like that, but because of the emotional tie and the tough year that we’ve had this past year and being able to share it,” Mickelson remarked.
“Amy and I were talking these last couple weeks about how glad we were that she was there, that the kids were there, that we could look back on that. And to have that together given what the past year has brought, it just made it probably the most special tournament win that I’ve had,” Mickelson added.
While Woods is usually the most talked about player to win the Grand Slam prior to the season, Mickelson is the only golfer in 2010 who can achieve that feat.
“I really want to give myself the best opportunity in the U.S. Open,” said Mickelson in his conference. “I had a good chance last year, a couple of years I’ve had great chances and haven’t come through, and it’s the one event that I’d love to win.”
After winning the Masters, Mickelson said that he told his children that he would take them for donuts to celebrate the following morning.
“I threw on a jacket”, referring to his Master jacket, and the family went to eat. An employee at the store snapped a photograph of Mickelson in the drive through, and it became an Internet sensation.
Woods has had photos snapped of him lately as well, with it going to the extreme.
“There’s paparazzi everywhere at home, helicopters here and there, people driving by, paparazzi camping out in front of the gates,” Woods remarked. “That hasn’t changed.”
Woods also stated that he was happier with his result at the Masters after reflecting upon it for several weeks.
“Immediately after the event they asked me how did I feel about it, and I wasn’t very happy I lost,” Woods said. “But given a little time to reflect on it, it was an incredible week.”
“I think it went as well as it possibly could have gone, and obviously I didn’t do what I needed to do on the weekend. But overall after not playing for that long and coming back and finishing fourth, I think that’s pretty reasonable.”
Woods is the betting favorite this week at Quail Hollow, installed at 3/1 with Mickelson second in line at 10/1 on Online Sportsbooks.