Johnson fought back and nearly had a hole in one at the par-three sixth where his ball lipped out of the hole. And a look at his FedEx Cup playoff record is all the motivation he needs.
After finishing his opening round at the Northern Trust on Thursday, where he shot an even-par 71, Woods was asked about opting against airing the Mickelson match on a freely available service.
"For the week, I've only made eight [actually seven] birdies, and that's not going to get it done", Woods said.
Still four behind Nicklaus on 14, Woods' T6 finish at The Open, having briefly led, and second place at the U.S. PGA has given him the belief he can overhaul the man many consider the greatest golfer ever. Thanks to a tie for fourth at the PGA Championship, he will return to the Masters for the first time in five years.
"If you get off to a good start, you basically guarantee yourself to go to the Tour Championship with a decent ranking which takes a lot of pressure off your shoulders for the second and third events", Day said.
"The name of the game is you've got to make putts and you've got to roll it, " Woods said after making the cut on the number at 142, even par. I just tried to stay in the present.
Tiger Woods hangs on, makes cut after 2nd round at Northern Trust
The 2018 FedEx Cup Playoffs consist of four golf tournaments that will determine the PGA Tour's season champion.
Still, it is worth asking a player what it must be like to play a $9 million match.
Two weeks after Tiger Woods couldn't hit a fairway but excelled with his irons and putter at the PGA Championship, Friday at the Northern Trust told a different story entirely. He won the Masters in 1985 and 1993, played in the Ryder Cup 10 times and was the winning captain in 2004.
O'Hair isn't alone in the urgency to play well.
Another step in that process is this week when the Fargo South High School graduate tees it up in the FedEx Cup Playoffs, a slate that takes the top 125 players on tour and plays four tournaments to determine a champion. His most recent performance - featuring a charge up the leaderboard at Bellerive on Sunday - resulted in a 69 percent final-round ratings increase at the PGA Championship.
Tway began his week playing in a charity event with good friend Morgan Hoffmann, who is coping with muscular dystrophy. He starts the playoffs ranked 28th, while Johnson is ranked number one ahead of Justin Thomas and Brooks Koepka. I think that people are more appreciative of it. "I just didn't quite have the feel to hit those really soft shots". You can play a little more free.
"I've had excitement, I've had people into it over the years, but this has been so different", he said. He has five top-10 finishes, including two 2nd place finishes.