- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 11, 2008

SAN DIEGO (AP) | Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are all for it.

Trevor Immelman says he would pay to watch it ” or at least snag a media credential to follow along.

The USGA’s decision to pair Woods, Mickelson and Adam Scott - Nos. 1-2-3 in the world ranking - in the first two rounds of this week’s U.S. Open at Torrey Pines has raised both interest and eyebrows. It’s a terrific pairing, for sure, but some are wondering whether fans will care about any of the other golfers who will be playing the clifftop South Course on Thursday and Friday.

When someone suggested that 75 percent of the fans would be interested in the pairing, Immelman, the Masters champion, revised that number upward.

“Yeah, well, I think 100 percent of the fans will be following them, not 75, and yeah, I would definitely watch them,” Immelman said during his pre-Open news conference. “I mean, I would pay to watch Tiger play golf, absolutely. He’s something we may never see again. But the thing about him that I find more incredible is the way that he handles everything that goes on around him and the grace at which he handles things. The way he treats people around him.

“He’s the ultimate champion from start to finish, on the golf course and off the golf course. There’s no doubt about it. I’d pay to watch him play.”

Not sorry, eh?

Tiger Woods said he has gotten some grief regarding his comments last week zinging hockey.

In a teleconference for August’s PGA Championship in suburban Detroit, he was asked who he was rooting for in the Stanley Cup, which was going on at the time.

“I don’t think anybody really watches hockey any more,” Woods said.

The topic came up again when Woods held his pre-U.S. Open news conference.

Woods wasn’t apologetic.

“Oh, yeah, I’ve gotten a lot of grief over that,” Woods said. “I love the sport. I love watching it, but I don’t like watching it on TV. In person it’s absolutely incredible, what they’re able to do and what they can do. TV doesn’t do justice to that. But then a lot of sports are the same way.

“I said what I said, and I was trying to be funny about it, but people didn’t perceive it that way.”

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