Tiger and Phil, China-style!

For the half-dozen of us that actually give a hoot about professional golf in the Fall, what will surely be a melodramatic showdown between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson is bound to occur in Shanghai, China at the HSBC Champions golf tournament.

The rivalry between the two best-ranked golfers in the world seems to have leveled-out recently, and possibly due to the news revolving around Mickelson's family life. Six weeks ago in Atlanta the two superstars had the chance to grab everyone's attention once again, but both players ended up winning something (Tiger = the FedEx Cup, Phil = the actual tournament) and did not really have the "flare" that one would expect from such a showdown.

In fact, the only other time that I can recall where fans were hanging on every single shot was at this year's Masters... which again didn't seem to matter since neither of them won.

Regardless, both Tiger and Phil are saying all of the right things in order to promote this snooze-fest of a golf tournament and the possibility of once again going head-to-head.

"I'm excited that Tiger and I are able to compete in the same event here in China," Mickelson said Wednesday on the eve of the HSBC Champions at Sheshan International Golf Club. "I think that it will provide some exposure to the game of golf throughout the country, and I'm hopeful that we compete head-to-head over the weekend, and are both in contention" (AP, 2009).

"I'm looking forward to it. I think everyone is," Woods said. "Having this now become a World Golf Championship, I think everyone is very excited about what this tournament means in the scope of things, not just here in China but in all of Asia. As a player, we are looking forward to playing this golf course against such a great field" (AP, 2009).

Regardless of what happens this week in China, the opinion that Tiger vs. Phil has lost a little of the pizazz is still rather strong among golf fans.