Could it be, a Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson bromance?

Augusta is famous for only selling Masters-branded merchandise to those who visit the course

Five days before the green jacket is slipped over the shoulders of the Masters victor in Butler Cabin, there were Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson playing a practice round together Tuesday morning on the back nine at Augusta National.

Couples, 58, has had back issues for decades but never spinal fusion surgery.

'I'll have a nice, comfortable, and great life, but I'll never be able to swing the club like I used to speed wise, just there's no way, [after] lower back fusion.

"We have worked on what body parts to get stronger, what body parts need to be more limber, and I feel fantastic".

"It's not like going into the tournament I'm one of the front-runners to win", said Bryan, a 400-1 long shot.

Woods underwent spinal fusion surgery in April past year and was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence the following month when he was found asleep at the wheel of his vehicle. "I definitely said 'I'm going back to the Masters, ' after I won, which was fun".

"He's going to win at some point". His litany of injuries and abortive comebacks have largely quashed expectations that he would surpass Jack Nicklaus's record total of 18.

The Savannah native is a different player as he prepares for his second Masters three years after his first - now a two-time PGA Tour victor, ranked 23rd in the world and in contention nearly every week he plays after a breakout 2017 session. "My back was fried". Nothing worked. My disc was gone.

Near the end of the press conference, Woods acknowledged that he's been watching the past two years on the sidelines. Mickelson ended the longest title drought of his professional career - five years - at last month's WGC-Mexico Championship.

"Nobody respects and appreciates what he's done for the game more than me", said Mickelson, who partnered with Woods during the practice round and noted that along with Woods' eagles at the 13th and 15th holes, the duo went 7 under par on a 5-hole stretch.

DeChambeau has three top-10 finishes in the current PGA Tour season, which began in October, including a second-place outing at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Woods, a four-time victor at Augusta, missed the last three Masters but is preparing to tee off on Thursday alongside England's Tommy Fleetwood and Australian Marc Leishman.

Miserable a year ago, Woods was in a happy place.

"And this year's a completely different year, and (I'm) really looking forward to coming into this year, especially (after) missing last year".

"I saw his bag outside the clubhouse", Sharma said with a smile. "It's now just a matter of getting out there and competing, and posting some numbers".

The 21-year-old from India, a rising star on the European Tour, is making his Masters debut and has his sights set on meeting Woods.

Woods and Mickelson had not played together at Augusta National since 2009, and even then it wasn't by choice.

Shubhankar Sharma got his first glimpse of childhood icon Tiger Woods four years ago at the Delhi Golf Club. Someone murmured from afar, "He said the same thing when Rickie Fowler came through", and certainly the young man was dressed in attire more appropriate to Fowler's fashion sense. "And so Phil and I talked about it and made a decision to play today".