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Mickelson forever grateful to Tiger Woods for making him rich

9   //    03 Mar 2017, 10:21 IST
American veterans Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods has made a lot of golfers rich and that includes five-time major champion Phil Mickelson, who is forever grateful.

Regarded as one of the greatest of all time, former world number one and 14-time major winner Woods was a trailblazer for the sport, helping raise the profile of the game.

With his remarkable success came considerable wealth as the 41-year-old American has been one of the highest paid athletes in the world.

Woods' achievements have also benefited a lot of other players and Mickelson knows he owes a lot of his wealth - reportedly more than $80million in prize money - to his countryman, who has been crippled by back injuries in recent years.

"When I came out on tour, in 1992, or when I won the Tucson Open [as an amateur] the purse - the entire purse - and the winner's cheque was $180,000," the 46-year-old said in an interview on Golf Channel show 'Feherty' set to premiere on Monday.

"I remember thinking in the mid 90s, 'I wonder if some day we'll play for a million dollar first-place cheque. I don't know, probably not in my lifetime, but I hope we do'.

"And now we do every week, and that's because of Tiger."

Mickelson, who is among six players tied for the lead at the WGC-Mexico Championship following Thursday's opening round, continued: "I've always thought [our relationship is] really great because I'm so appreciative about what he's done for the game, but in that, he's done as much for me or more for me than anybody else.

"We're all in this together. We all making our living in golf…we all want to build up the game and build up the product together.

"All these opportunities drove up my revenue and every other player’s revenue on the golf course and off the golf course so I'm always appreciative of him. I've told him that many times.

"I don't know if he thinks I'm sincere or not because sometimes I can be a bit sarcastic. I try to say it sincerely though because I genuinely mean that and feel that."

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