AUGUSTA, GA (WTOC) - The anticipation for this year's Masters only built on Tuesday as two of the tournament's legends hit the course together.
There was only one show in town Tuesday morning at the Masters as Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson played a practice round together for the first time in 20 years. As you can imagine, the two starts were followed by a throng of fans who enjoyed every second of it.
"They played together in their final round a few years ago I remember, and it was madness," said Brian Clements, Masters patron from Savannah. "It looks like there are just as many people here today."
"Our friendship has gotten stronger over the years. We have competed a lof of times, coming down the stretch," Woods said. "We were joking about some of the thoughts that transpired here. It's age. We both know we are at the tail end of our careers."
"I think that nobody respects and appreciates what he's done for the game more because nobody benefitted from what he's done for the game of golf more than I have," Mickelson said. "I've always had that appreciation and respect for him. To see him back out here playing is incredible. We all feel that."
Before Tiger tees off for his first Masters in three years, he joined his greatest rival along with Thomas Pieters and 1992 Masters Champ Fred Couples, for a crowd-pleasing stroll down the back nine.
"I told my wife and her kids it's something we'll be able to tell the grandkids about," said patron from Raleigh, NC, Lewis Gale.
"I've been at a couple different golf tournaments before, but this is incredible," said patron from Tallahassee, FL, Steve Haller.
Rumors of the round hit the news and social media early Tuesday morning, sending patrons scrambling to get a look at the pairing with seven green jackets between them.
"We went to Amen Corner first to try and jump a few crowds and catch them. Then we went to catch them at 16, and then the plan was to come to 18. Trying to stay ahead of the crowd so we can get on the ropes."
The quarter simultaneously skipped balls across the water at the par 3 16th. It was all part of the show for the thousands who won't soon forget this day.
"Tipping the cap, engaging with everybody. Tiger had this big smile on his face...unbelievable...it's just a dream come true."
Tiger and Phil teamed up to play Couples and Pieters during the practice round, and Couples said his team got shillelaghed by Woods and Lefty. The two aren't paired together in Thursday's opening round, but many in these parts are hoping they could see another Tiger-Phil round on Sunday.