Woods welcomes matchup with friend Weir

CHRIS STEVENSON, OTTAWA SUN

, Last Updated: 8:58 AM ET

MONTREAL -- You knew Tiger Woods wouldn't pass this up.

He'll be the bad guy in his match with Canada's Mike Weir today, but U.S. captain Jack Nicklaus, recounting his conversation with the world No. 1, said Woods has experience being the villain.

"I said to Tiger, 'I don't want to put it on your back, but what do you want to do? Do you want to play Mike or not?' " said Nicklaus.

"He says, 'Cap, I'll play whoever you want to give me.'

"I said, '(Today) you will not be the darling of the gallery and he says, 'I've had that before. In Ryder Cup matches over in Britain, it was pretty bad.

"I don't think it will bad, but I think it will be a tougher match than you want," said Nicklaus, "and he says, 'Hey, whatever you want, I'm happy to do.'

Said Woods: "I think it will be a fun match. We're great friends and have been for years and I think we're really looking forward to it."

SQUISHFUL THINKING

What was that squishing sound? It was the left shoe of Jim "Bones" Mackay, the caddie for Phil Mickelson.

On the 15th hole at Royal Montreal yesterday, Mickelson took Mackay's left shoe and wore it to attempt a shot out of the water hazard beside the green.

As coincidence would have it, Mickelson's partner in the four-ball match was Woody Austin, who made a big splash Friday when he tumbled into the lake attempting a similar shot on the 14th hole.

Mickelson waited to see if Austin could save his par after missing the green, but when Austin missed a seven-foot putt, Mickelson had to try and get up and down from the hazard to save a half against the International team of Adam Scott and Retief Goosen.

"(Austin) wanted to see me hit it out of the water because he pulled (his putt). It looked semi-intentional to me," said Mickelson.

He made a five after his first shot barely escaped the water.

PHIL OF LOSSES

Mickelson is still looking for his first win in singles at the Presidents Cup. He's 0-3-3. He has halved with Fulton Allem, Carlos Franco and Angel Cabrera and lost to Retief Goosen, Weir and Ernie Els.

Woods is 3-1 in singles play at the Presidents Cup,

THE 19TH HOLE

Spotted in the gallery following Weir yesterday: Toronto Argonauts quarterback Damon Allen ... The Presidents Cup here has been well attended and souvenirs apparently have been moving briskly. Word yesterday afternoon was organizers had to place another big order for baseball-style caps to stock the thinning shelves in the four merchandise tents on the course.


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