Throwback Thursday: Tiger breaks Mickelson’s heart at Bay Hill

The Scoop

NCG's weekly look back through the archives throws up a tale from Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill tournament.

The Background

Tiger Woods arrived at the 2001 Arnold Palmer Invitational having failed to win his opening five events of the season.

Although, for others this may not have seemed like a rut, for a man that had won the final three majors of the previous year it must have felt like a lifetime.

Tiger and Phil Mickelson entered the week at Arnie’s place as the top two in the world rankings and boy did the tournament produce.

The Scene

Mickelson, playing in the group ahead of Woods, found himself tied for the lead on the 72nd tee. In true Lefty fashion he found trouble with his drive, took his medicine, then knocked his approach stiff for a magnificent par save.

Woods also had trouble with his drive, but a phenomenal second to the heart of the green left him a slippy 15-footer to win.

Tiger duly obliged with a perfectly weighted putt as the crowd erupted with the King watching on at Bay Hill.

The Legacy

Tiger Woods has won the Arnold Palmer Invitational a whopping eight times and his record speaks volumes for itself. Perhaps though, the best victory was to come later as he went on to repeat his feat in 2008 in similar fashion.

Although, instead of a winless run he was chasing a fifth straight victory on tour but this time it was journeyman Bart Bryant that provided the opposition.

A 25-footer (we should have known) was what faced Tiger this time as he holed out in emphatic fashion. All Bryant could do was smile from the scorers hut.

Vintage Tiger.

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