"I wouldn't say it's gravy, but I'm just so thankful to be able to have this opportunity again, because I didn't know if I would ever have had (it)".
"Three-time champion golfer Tiger Woods plans to tee it up at Carnoustie for The 147th Open after confirming his entry into golf's original Championship", read the statement from the organisers.
It was the latest back-and-forth between the two best players of their generation, who have been needling each other for more than 20 years.
A two-time victor of an event dubbed the unofficial fifth major, Woods will be in the field for the first time since 2015 when he tees off alongside Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler on Thursday (May 10).
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The 42-year-old American - a 14 time Major victor - returned to competitive golf this season after missing most of the previous two years through injury and finished tied for 32nd at last month's Masters.
"I enjoy competing against him, whether it's the first, second or last day. It's always been a blast, and he's one hell of a competitor, and it's always going to be a challenge to try and beat him".
Woods, who has two Players victories to his name and last won in 2013, is playing a full schedule for the first time since a fourth back surgery in April past year.
Woods is due to start his Players Championship campaign tomorrow, which is an event that he won back in 2013.
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The only time the two have played together on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass came in the third round of the 2001 Players Championship, when Woods made his "better than most, better than most, better than most", 60-foot birdie putt on the 17th en route to the title. A stretch Mickelson will never forget.
"Trust me, I'm fully aware of how special this is for me", he said, recalling that 12 months ago he could barely walk without severe pain, let alone swing a golf club. We always have. But I think our relationship has certainly gotten a lot closer with me being a vice-captain the last couple teams, sitting there and having lengthy conversations with him about things.
"I look at 2000 as being kind of the benchmark at the U.S. Open as being the greatest golf I've ever witnessed and I believe has ever been played", said Mickelson. Phil Mickelson sits in third place with 1,348 points, and he won The Players Championship by two strokes over Sergio Garcia back in 2007.
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