'I Usually Hit It A Little Further' - When Tiger Outdrove Phil Mickelson With His 3-Wood At The Masters

Relive the humorous story of Tiger Woods outdriving Phil Mickelson with a 3-wood during the 2001 Masters

Mickelson and Woods at The Masters
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The rivalry between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson has dominated golf over the modern-era, with both men picking up just the 21 Major titles and 127 PGA Tour victories between them.

At the 2001 Masters, the rivalry between the two was on full display, with the duo paired in the final group as they battled it out for a Green Jacket. However, as is the case with Tiger and Mickelson, there was a little trash talking and winding up going on, with Woods outdriving his countryman on two consecutive holes with his 3-wood.

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Prior to the event, Tiger had been working on a hook 3-wood that would be hugely beneficial around Augusta National. "I was trying to win what I thought was the Grand Slam, holding all four Majors at once, and I got to the 13th on Sunday, I was playing with Phil Mickelson - the winner this year - and I had just made bogey at the 12th and had a two-shot lead," explained Tiger.

"Phil gets up there and just absolutely annihilates his driver, just a high cut right around the corner at 13. I'm thinking 'I've got to bring out this little hook 3-wood that I've been practicing,' and it just so happens I outdrove him."

Following the drive, both men would go on to make birdies at the par 5, with Mickelson having the honour on the next hole, the par 4 14th, a hole that required yet another right-to-left tee shot.

Woods watches on as Mickelson putts

Tiger watches on as Mickelson putts in 2001 

(Image credit: Getty Images)

And, like the 13th, Mickelson produced yet another high-bomb of a cut that found the fairway. Looking to also replicate that, Woods stated: "Well it worked on the last hole. I hope it works here."

Hitting the exact same shot, both men walked up the fairway deep in thought: "Phil and I haven't said a word to each other all day. We're both in our own world, focusing, trying to win a Major championship and we're in the final pairing, so this is pretty intense.

"So, I'm walking, head down, when suddenly he kind of comes up next to me and we have kind of done that all day, we may walk next to each other and not say anything because we're both in our little worlds and he then goes 'do you normally hit your 3-wood that far?'"

What was Tiger's response? Well, the American uttered just a few words back to his opponent, quipping: "No. I usually hit it a little bit further."

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x