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Subscribe to RSS feed for News Phil Mickelson doesn't have a weakness inside 150 yards, Dave Pelz says. (Photo: AP)
Phil Mickelson doesn't have a weakness inside 150 yards, Dave Pelz says. (Photo: AP)

Mickelson's short game is better than Woods', says Pelz

As if the Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson pairing in the first two rounds wasn't going to be dramatic enough, now Dave Pelz, Phil Mickelson's short-game coach, says no one can beat Mickelson when he's on his game, even Woods.

MEDINAH, Ill. (PA) -- Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson go head to head for only the second time in majors when the PGA Championship begins on Thursday. They are paired together for the first two rounds.

And Mickelson's short-game coach might just have given Woods an added reason to remind everybody who is world No. 1 and who is world No. 2.

"When Phil's at his best, I'm thinking nobody can beat him," said Dave Pelz. "His short game, I believe, is the best in the world. He doesn't have a serious weakness inside 150 yards.

"I'm not saying Tiger's short game is bad. He has a great short game. But I think Phil putts more consistently than Tiger does," Pelz added. "He has more imagination and a few more shots around the green.

"The question is, how often is Phil on his best game?"

The two are paired for the opening two rounds at Medinah because the PGA Championship traditionally brings together the winners of the three other majors during the season. Mickelson triumphed at the Masters and Woods at the British Open, and U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy is the third member of the group.

The only previous occasion the two American superstars have met in majors was in the final round of the 2001 Masters, when Woods completed his clean sweep of the majors and Mickelson, still to win one of golf's top four titles at the time, finished third. Mickelson is also the defending champion this week.

"He's got a better arsenal now," said Pelz of Mickelson, while being aware that Mickelson has had much the worse of things when he has faced Woods over the years. "He has more shots. He has more chances to hit high percentage shots. He's a better player.

"I know Phil relishes playing with Tiger. He feels like he can beat him and he hasn't done it yet," Pelz added. "This is a great opportunity. Every chances he gets it he'll want to take it."

Woods, who has won his last two events, often has used somebody else's comments as extra motivation in the past.

Nine years ago, Colin Montgomerie daring to suggest the 21-year-old Woods' inexperience could count against him in their third-round clash at the Masters. Woods hammered him.

And in February, Stephen Ames thought he had a chance to knock Woods out of the WGC-Accenture World Match Play in view of, as Ames said, "where he hits it." Woods crushed him, 9 & 8.

Copyright 2006 PA Sport. All rights reserved.

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