'Mickelson better than Woods'

2006-08-16 11:47

Medinah - Phil Mickelson's short-game coach Dave Pelz chipped away at the notion that Tiger Woods was invincible by saying his big, left-handed charge was unbeatable when on form.

"When Phil's at his best, I'm thinking nobody can beat him," Pelz told the Chicago Tribune in an article on Tuesday that stirred comment at Medinah Country Club, site of this week's PGA Championship.

"If Phil's long swing is good, 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. He has more imagination and a few more shots around the green."

Mickelson, winner of 29 PGA Tour events, began the year on fire. He won his second successive major by claiming the Masters and led going to the final hole of the US Open before stumbling into a tie for second after a double bogey.

Woods won the British Open last month, while chief rival Mickelson finished tied for 22nd.

"My man, he's enthusiastic," Mickelson said about Pelz. He then tried to defuse the issue with a joke at his news conference, telling reporters: "I have tried to not give you too much to run with, and so I'm paying other people now to do it.

Woods, ranked number one in the world ahead of Mickelson, and the winner of 50 PGA Tour and 11 majors in his 10 years as a professional, shrugged it off.

"I think I'm pretty tough to beat when I'm playing well, too," Woods said, drawing laughs from reporters at his news conference.

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