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Mickelson prediction: Don’t be surprised if Tiger one-ups me and wins Valspar

Phil Mickelson says the golfing world celebrating his four-year victory drought might last less than a week thanks to Tiger Woods.
U.S. Ryder Cup teammates Phil Mickelson, left, and Tiger Woods share a laugh after finishing a practice round at the K Club golf course in Straffan, Ireland, on Sept. 21, 2006. Mickelson says don't be surprised if Woods wins this week's Valspar Championship at Innisbrook. [Associated Press]
U.S. Ryder Cup teammates Phil Mickelson, left, and Tiger Woods share a laugh after finishing a practice round at the K Club golf course in Straffan, Ireland, on Sept. 21, 2006. Mickelson says don't be surprised if Woods wins this week's Valspar Championship at Innisbrook. [Associated Press]
Published Mar. 9, 2018|Updated Mar. 9, 2018

If anyone should know what Tiger Woods is capable of doing, it's Phil Mickelson. And "Lefty" doesn't expect his golfing rival to play second fiddle to him for very long, like less than a week.

Mickelson won the WGC-Mexico Championship on Sunday in a sudden-death playoff over Justin Thomas. It was the first victory in more than four years — the 2013 British Open — for the 47-year-old five-time major winner.

And while Woods, 42, has a similar victory drought — the 2013 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational — Mickelson says don't be surprised if Woods wins this week's Valspar Championship, the first time he's playing the PGA Tour event at Innisbrook in Palm Harbor.

"We've gotten pretty close over the last couple of years. … We've been pulling hard for each other because we both know and believe we have the ability to play and compete against these great (younger) players," Mickelson said Thursday on the Dan Patrick Show. "He's always one-upped me in my career. … I wouldn't be surprised if he came out this week and won just to one-up me again."

Woods is trying his best to make Mickelson look brilliant, tying for the clubhouse lead Friday after his 3-under 68 moved him to 4-under 138 midway through the second round at the Valspar; the last time Woods held a share of the lead after 36 holes was at the 2015 Wyndham Championship.

And knowing Mickelson's penchant for dropping a hefty wager or two, don't be surprised if he takes his prediction to the bank.

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