Mickelson pumped to play with Woods again 

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The last time Phil Mickelson was grouped with Tiger Woods, it was in the final round of the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in February. It was clearly a day that left an impression on one of the two combatants.

“I don’t know the feeling that I had when I left, but I certainly had a nice crystal trophy,” Mickelson said Tuesday in a session with the media.

Indeed he did. Mickelson motored past Woods and everyone else in the field by shooting a final-round 64 at Pebble, and starting Thursday, most of the cameras and galleries at the Olympic Club will be focused on the trio of Tiger, Lefty and Masters champion Bubba Watson.

For Mickelson, there’s no other way he’d rather have it.

“It’s fabulous,” the four-time major winner said. “I get excited to play with Tiger. I love it. … He gets the best out of me. I think when it’s time to tee off on Thursday I’ll be ready to play. One of the issues I’ve had this year is I’ve been a little mentally lethargic on Thursday and Friday. I won’t be this week.”

As for Woods, he seemed a little less enthused and indicated there wouldn’t be much chit-chat between the two.

“I don’t think we’re going to talk about it a lot,” said Woods, who has three U.S. Open wins under his belt. “This is a major championship.”

As for Watson, he’s fully prepared for the rock-star type atmosphere that is expected.

“It’s going to be like Sunday at the Masters, huge galleries,” he said.

dkruse@sfexaminer.com

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Dylan Kruse

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