(CNN) -- The secret to Phil Mickelson's recent successes against longtime rival Tiger Woods could lie with the man who has coached both golf superstars -- Butch Harmon.
Harmon helped Woods to eight of his 14 major triumphs between 1993 and 2004, and started working with Mickelson three years later.
He was on hand to give the veteran left-hander tips during the pair's final-round showdown at Pebble Beach on Sunday.
Mickelson bettered his fellow American for the fifth time in a row when they have played together on the last day of a tournament to clinch his 40th PGA Tour title.
Harmon, who has also worked with other top names such as former major champions Greg Norman and Fred Couples, has revealed how he gave Mickelson an insight into what to expect from former world No. 1 Woods.
"I explained to Phil some things to be aware of when playing with Tiger," Harmon told the tour's official website.
"If Tiger putts out first the gallery is going to start moving ahead, so if you have a chance to putt out first it's in your best interest to do so.
"If it's close on the back nine, Tiger will sometimes hit three-wood on purpose to make you wait. Tiger's not doing anything illegal, it's just a little bit of gamesmanship."
While four-time major winner Mickelson carded a stunning eight-under-par 64 to surge up the leaderboard and win, Woods collapsed from third to tie for 15th after a 75.
But Mickelson took the time to praise Woods, who is currently enduring the longest winless run of his career having not claimed an official tournament victory since November 2009.
"I don't believe anybody has benefited more from what he's done for the game than myself," said Mickelson, who has outscored Woods on eight of the 12 occasions they have played together since he started working with Harmon in 2007.
"He seems to bring out the best in me and the last four or five years. I just seem more focused. "
Mickelson also spoke of the "little bit of inspiration" his wife Amy -- who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 -- had given him when it looked as if the tournament was slipping away on Friday.
A pep talk from her helped him overhaul a six-shot deficit on leader Charlie Wi on Sunday.
"I think it's a good lesson for me to learn that if you never give up and you stay and you fight hard, you can fight through some bad stretches and still come out on top at the end of the week because you just never know when it'll turn," he said, before acknowledging his recent lack of form.
The 41-year-old finished 26th at his previous outing in Phoenix, having missed the cut at Torrey Pines and tied for 49th in his season opener at the Humana Challenge in California.
"Prior to the Humana, I had played eight to 10 rounds like Sunday's final round, and I've been wondering where that has been these last three weeks," he said ahead of Thursday's opening round at the Northern Trust Open , where he tasted victory in 2008 and 2009.
"I was wondering what happened those three weeks because I had been playing well prior, and I'm just glad it finally came out when I needed it the most."