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I wasn't intimidated by Mickelson - Tiger

ESPN staff
February 13, 2012 « Chambers in training for London 2012 | Chartbeat test »
Tiger Woods' problems on the greens are causing him concern © PA Photos
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Tiger Woods felt his battle with the putter rather than the pressure of playing with Phil Mickelson was to blame for his disappointing final round at the AT&T National Pro-Am.

Two of golf's biggest names were paired together for the final round and it was Mickelson who shone brightest, with his brilliant eight-under 64 enabling him to take the title for a fourth time. The stunning play of Mickelson was in stark contrast to that of Woods who posted a 75 which was only good enough for a share of 15th place.

Woods and Mickelson have shared a fierce rivalry down the years, but 14-time major winner Woods felt the sight of his old foe striking the ball so well did not impact on his game.

When asked if being paired with Mickelson affected his form, Woods said: "No, not at all. I still had to go up and post my numbers and I thought I had to shoot 67 or 66 today was kind of the number going out there. That wouldn't have been in enough, so it was a fun day to be out there, but also in the end it was very frustrating at the same time."

While Mickelson went round in 26 putts, Woods required 31 swings of the short stick and it was the troubles on the greens that cost him dear.

Woods said: "What was frustrating is that I had a chance and all I had to do was get off to a good, solid start today and I didn't do that. I was one-under through six, which Phil was five-under through six, and that was kind of the start I was hoping to get to. I didn't do it and thought I could get it in the middle part of the round, but instead I went the other way.

"I missed a ton of short putts today. I didn't hit it as bad as the score indicated, that's for sure but I missed everything. I could not get comfortable where I could see my lines. I couldn't get the putter to swing. I just could not get comfortable. It was frustrating."

Mickelson's win has catapulted him six places up the world rankings to No. 11. Lee Westwood was the only mover inside the top 10, with the Englishman's second place in Dubai moving him above Rory McIlroy to No. 2.

World Rankings: 1. Luke Donald (ENG), 2. Lee Westwood (ENG), 3. Rory McIlroy (NIR), 4. Martin Kaymer (GER), 5. Steve Stricker (USA), 6. Webb Simpson (USA), 7. Jason Day (AUS), 8. Adam Scott (AUS), 9. Charl Schwartzel (RSA), 10. Dustin Johnson (USA), 11. Phil Mickelson (USA), 12. Graeme McDowell (NIR) 13. Matt Kuchar (USA), 14. Nick Watney (USA), 15. KJ Choi (KOR), 16. Brandt Snedeker (USA), 17. Sergio Garcia (ESP), 18. Tiger Woods (USA), 19. Bubba Watson (USA), 20. Justin Rose (ENG).

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