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Inside the epic, love-hate rivalry between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson

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phil mickelson and tiger woods

In February 1998, Tiger Woods played a practice round with Phil Mickelson ahead of the Nissan Open at the Valencia Country Club in California when both men were in their 20s. The pair had agreed to a bet, with the winner taking $500 from the other.

By the end of the round, Mickelson emerged victorious. He celebrated by putting photocopies of his five winning $100 bills into Woods’ locker with a note that read: “Just wanted you to know Benji and his friends are very happy in their new home.”
Phil Milkelson and Tiger Woods shake
“Woods seethed,” writes author Bob Harig in his new book “Tiger and Phil – Golf’s Most Fascinating Rivalry” (St. Martin’s Press), out this month, noting that the pros wouldn’t play another practice round together until 20 years later at the 2018 Masters.

The complex relationship between the two greatest players of their generation has fascinated the golf world for decades, with their lives and careers inextricably linked. Yet the two men couldn’t be more different.

Mickelson, 51, is a white country-club kid with an airline pilot for a dad; Woods, 46, is mixed race with parents who took out a second mortgage just to help their son make it in the sport. Mickelson is famous for signing autographs till his pen runs out of ink; Woods is known for being standoffish and aloof. Mickelson is a family man with three children who took time off to care for his wife, Amy, when she was diagnosed with cancer in 2009. Woods was exposed as a philanderer when his wife, Elin, chased him out of their house with his own golf club and used it to smash the windows of his car.
phil mickelson and tiger woods
“Theirs isn’t a rivalry in the classic sense,” Harig writes. “But Woods has always been aware of Mickelson, and Mickelson has certainly always been aware of Woods.”

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The two men do have a few similarities. They were born in California, and both were destined for greatness.

Woods, the son of a Vietnam veteran and a Thai mother, was groomed for golf as soon as he could walk. When he left Stanford University after just two years to turn pro in 1996, he had a $40 million contract from Nike and Titleist waiting for him.

Mickelson was a right-hander who played the game left-handed, a super-confident, superstar collegiate golfer at Arizona State University who honed his skills on his own personal practice facility in his backyard.

And yet, despite 45 Tour wins, including six majors, and raking in nearly $100 million in prize money alone, Mickelson has never made it to No. 1 in golf’s world rankings, despite being in the top 10 for 700 weeks and spending five years in the number two spot — always behind Woods.

In any other time, Mickelson’s career would be the stuff of legend. In this time, he’s nearly always been known as second best. “I oftentimes wonder what my career would be had he not come along,” Mickelson said in November 2018.

The 2001 Masters, when Woods completed the “Tiger Slam” of holding all four major titles simultaneously, is a case in point. Paired together in the final round, Mickelson played the best golf of his life in the first nine holes but Woods kept him at bay, eventually grinding him down and taking the Green Jacket.

“It was really frickin’ hard to play Tiger back then,” Mickelson later admitted.

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In a 2003 Golf Magazine interview, Mickelson mocked Woods’ clubs, which the golfing champion had helped design, as “inferior” and then paid him a back-handed compliment, saying he was the only player good enough to “overcome the equipment he’s stuck with.”

Woods’ response was curt. “Phil can try to be a smart aleck at times,” he quipped.

Even though the antipathy between the two men is well-known, Ryder Cup captain Hal Sutton paired the two together for the biennial Europe vs. USA contest in 2004.

“I felt like history needed it. I felt like the fans needed it. And, most of all, I felt like Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods needed it,” Sutton said at the opening ceremony.

Health & Lifestyle

Tokyo Olympics: Simone Biles reunites with boyfriend back in Texas at NFL practice

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Tokyo Olympics: Simone Biles reunites with boyfriend back in Texas at NFL practice

Simone Biles reunited with boyfriend Jonathan Owens back in Texas as she attended his NFL team’s practice in Houston.

The Olympic great on Thursday arrived back in the United States from Tokyo, where she won a bronze medal in the beam after pulling out of a string of other events to concentrate on her mental health.

Simone Biles

Ms Biles was greeted by her family and hundreds of cheering fans as she arrived back at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport from the Tokyo 2020 games.

She spent the day at the training camp and even posted a picture of their pair together on Instagram

“Morning with bae,” she wrote on on e social media post, while on another she said, “open practices aka bring your girlfriend to work day.”

Ms Biles lives near her parents and currently dates Mr Owens, a defensive player who is on a two-year contract worth $1.39m with the Texans.

“He would say I slid into his DMs,” Ms Biles told The Wall Street Journal.

Simone Biles

“I saw him and I was like, ‘Oh, he’s pretty cute,’ so I said hi … and then I saw that he was in the Houston area, so we started chatting a little bit, and then we went to hang out a week or two later.”

Her sister eventually interrupted a FaceTime call and invited Mr Owens on a lake house trip, to which he brought his English bull dog Zeus, and Ms Biles took along her French bulldog, Lilo.

(AP)
Mr Owen has told Texas Monthly that he did not know who Ms Biles was when they first met, despite her international success and fame.

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Ms Biles, 24, won four Olympic gold medals at Rio 2016 in the team event, the individual all-around, the vault, and the floor exercise, as well as a bronze medal in the balance beam.

Gymnasts have described the predicament as a mental block where the athlete’s body feels disconnected from their brain and they do not know where they are in the air.

Simone Biles

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All The Celebrities Who Went Wild Over Jennifer Aniston & Brad Pitt’s SAG Awards Reunion

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Jennifer Aniston
All The Celebrities Who Went Wild Over Jennifer Aniston & Brad Pitt’s SAG Awards Reunion

Fans weren’t the only ones who went wild over Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt’s Screen Actors Guild Awards reunion.

Celebrities all over social media also expressed shock and excitement after photos of the famous exes chatting and embracing at the gala spread through the internet.

Jennifer Aniston

 

As RadarOnline.com readers know, Aniston’s Friends co-star and best friend Courteney Cox liked a series of social media posts about the reunion, including a comment posted by a Twitter fan that read: “They still love each other, no doubt.”

Fans know that while the actors divorced in 2005 after seven years together, they recently rekindled their friendship following Pitt’s split from Angelina Jolie. The Ad Astra actor, 56, even attended his ex’s 50th birthday party, and referred to her as a “good friend” in an interview before their SAG run-in.

While both have denied romance rumors, photos of Pitt holding Aniston’s hand and gazing lovingly at her while backstage at the awards show renewed fans’ hopes of a romantic reunion.

Jennifer Aniston

“This is my ‘Do not break our hearts again, Brad’ face,” Michelle Monaghan captioned an Instagram selfie.

“Kelly Kapoor losing her sh**,” comedienne Mindy Kaling captioned a photo of Pitt and Aniston’s reunion, referencing her character on The Office.

Various other stars, including Jamie Lynn Spears, Rumer Willis, Morgan Stewart, Jordin Sparks, Stephanie Shepherd and Brooklyn Decker reacted to a post about the reunion shared on E! News’ Instagram.

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“WE WILL BE TELLING OUR GRANDKIDS ABOUT THIS. THATS sic HOW IMPORTANT THIS IS,” Spears, 28, wrote, clearly thrilled.

“My tender heart can’t take this,” Willis, 31, joked.

“I’m not emotionally prepared to handle this at this stage in my life,” Stewart, 30, wrote, possibly referencing her recent split from husband Brendan Fitzpatrick.

“Omg,” Sparks, 30, commented along with a crying emoji.

“I AM NOT OKAY,” Shepherd, 30, admitted.

Jennifer Aniston

“Is that a finger UNDER a lapel?!?” Decker, 32, asked.

“Oh,” Modern Family star Sarah Hyland wrote, seemingly speechless.

“AHHHHHHH,” Bachelorette star JoJo Fletcher commented.

Even Blink-182 got in on the action, writing, “Fell in love with the girl at the SAG show,” twisting the lyrics of their 2001 song “The Rock Show.”

At the ceremony, Aniston, 50, won the award for outstanding female in a drama series for her role on The Morning Show, while Pitt took home the SAG Award for outstanding performance by a male actor in a supporting role for his part in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Jennifer Aniston

Pitt went backstage to watch Aniston give her acceptance speech on a TV nearby. He got emotional while cheering her on in silence. When E! News shared the clip on Twitter, celebrities and fans could not contain their delight.

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Scarlett Johansson Just Talked About Ex Husband Ryan Reynolds For The First Time In Years

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Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Johansson Just Talked About Ex Husband Ryan Reynolds For The First Time In Years

Once upon a time Ryan Reynolds and Scarlett Johansson fell madly in love and got married. The two were very private about their relationship, and there are little to no photos of them online and they rarely talked about each other in the media. Their marriage ended eight years ago and it’s been pretty quiet, but recently Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Reynolds’ marriage was talked about for the first time in a while.

Scarlett Johansson

Johansson discussed her first marriage with Reynolds in an interview with Vanity Fair.

When asked about her experience with divorce, she shared what she’s learned from it, and didn’t mention Reynolds by name.

She said, “I mean, the first time I got married I was 23 years old. I didn’t really have an understanding of marriage. Maybe I kind of romanticized it, I think, in a way. It’s a different part of my life now. I feel like I’m in a place in my life, I feel I’m able to make more active choices. I’m more present, I think, than I’ve been before.”

The actress didn’t say more about Reynolds but kept her answer short and sweet.

[rebelmouse-image 25958697 photo_credit=”Scarlett Johansson | IMDb” expand=1 original_size=”1777×757″]

Johansson was also married to Romain Dauriac for three years, which ended in 2017. They share daughter Rose who’s five-years-old.

Scarlett Johansson’s office
Outset Office Tour x MyDomaine

She talked about her child right before discussing Reynolds.

The Avengers star told Vanity Fair, “The idea of building a family, making a family, and having that work, I like that idea. I think that would be wonderful. I’ve always wanted that. I wanted that also in my marriage to my daughter’s father as well. It just wasn’t the right person.”

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Now 35-years-old, Johansson is engaged to Colin Jost from Saturday Night Live. Incidentally, that’s the same show that Reynolds made a surprise appearance on last weekend.

[rebelmouse-image 25958698 photo_credit=”Colin Jost | IMDb” expand=1 original_size=”1273×714″]

Scarlett Johansson

Reynolds has been happily married to Blake Lively since 2012, and they share three daughters together, one of whom was born earlier this year.

The couple loves to have fun in Instagram photos, are often spotted going out for date nights, and even roast each other on social media.

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Golf: Phil Mickelson shows off dramatic body transformation

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Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson used to get shredded by the media and golf fans about his portly appearance — now he is shredded.

The five-time major winner affectionately known as Lefty used to be one of the larger players on tour, prompting one scribe to write this about Mickelson in 2009.

Phil Mickelson

“One of the reasons I love to watch athletes is that besides their talents, they are awesome physical specimens to behold. Even though Phil Mickelson seems to be a nice guy and a pretty good golfer who can eke out a win when Tiger’s home with the family rehabbing his knee. He has got man boobs,” the scribe wrote.

“Mickelson is not even really fat. He just suffers from male pattern boobness. Guybags. Senor snubes. Mister Titster. He-man Hooters. Boyzoombas. Cock ‘n Knockers. Mancans. Chesticles with Testicles. Papa Tatas. Mickelson Mogambos.

Phil Mickelson
“Now as snarky as this sounds, I am not even saying his daddy dumplings turn me off. I am just saying that when Mickelson strides down the fairway, he looks like a breasty shift manager at the local Best Buy who cannot say ‘no’ to doughnuts in the break room, not a kick ass world class athlete.”

Mickelson was even forced to address it himself a decade ago when his commitment to winning was questioned. “I have put on some weight,” Mickelson told Golf magazine in 2010. “I tend to fluctuate with my wife, Amy. When she’s pregnant, I seem to put on weight. When she’s not, I seem to lose it with her. The weight fluctuations are an emotional thing, I guess …

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Phil Mickelson

“I wish I had visceral fat instead of subcutaneous fat. When I gain weight I gain it underneath the skin rather than beneath the muscle.”

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Chelsea Manning reacts to Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover amid Grimes romance

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Elon Musk
Chelsea Manning reacts to Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover amid Grimes romance

Chelsea Manning doesn’t care if she’s on Elon Musk’s Twitter “ban list.”

When a follower tweeted at the famed whistleblower Monday that she should be “careful” because she is “first on his ban list,” Manning responded, “who cares?”

 Elon Musk

The Tesla founder purchased the social medium for $44 billion earlier Monday and tweeted that he hoped even his “worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means,” so perhaps Manning stands a chance.

If not, she told the aforementioned follower that she will “just play minecraf [sic].”

Manning’s blasé attitude toward the history-making deal comes after Page Six broke the news that she is dating Musk’s ex Grimes.

“They’re getting serious. They U-Hauled it,” an insider told us in March of the fast-paced nature of the relationship. “They’ve been living together in Austin.”

While neither has publicly addressed their romance, Manning, 34, has been engaging sarcastically with the new Twitter owner, 50, since he announced his interest in buying the tech company.

Elon Musk

Enlarge ImageElon Musk waves
Twitter accepted the Tesla founder’s $44 billion bid Monday.
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“If our twitter bid succeeds, we will defeat the spam bots or die trying!” Musk tweeted last week, to which Manning responded with a meme about “occupying a billionaire’s mind rent free.”

Red State deputy managing editor Brandon Morse called out Manning over the tweet, writing, “You’re dating HIS ex, using a platform HE’S about to buy and commenting on HIS tweet after he hasn’t mentioned YOU one time. You’re living in his head? Seems you’re living in his world.”

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A former US soldier, Manning made headlines in the early 2010s for leaking hundreds of thousands of documents to WikiLeaks. She was sentenced to 35 years in prison after being found guilty of 20 crimes, including six violations of the Espionage Act.

Elon Musk
In January 2017, President Barack Obama commuted Manning’s remaining prison sentence after she had served seven years and attempted suicide multiple times.

Grimes, meanwhile, announced in March that she and Musk had broken up again. The singer, 34, and the billionaire have two children together.

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