It’s the matchup we were all waiting for. The day the two biggest names in golf from the last twenty years collide and now it’s official. Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson will play a one-off match for around $9 million, but will it be worth paying to watch?
We waited for this big matchup a decade ago. Still, better late than never and with both golfers partial to a wager, it should at least be more interesting than what the annual Wentworth Suntory World Matchplay ever was. The stories of Phil’s many on-course (and some dubious off-course) wagers are legend, while Tiger is more than partial to a game of high stakes blackjack.
This one will be a winner takes all affair.
Golf fans were robbed of the opportunity to see a major battle between Tiger and Phil, it never really happened – neither managed to put four rounds together in the same tournament to give us a heads-up that promised so many thrills and spills.
There was the time when both men found themselves in contention during the last round of the 2009 Masters, but neither found enough to overhaul eventual winner Angel Cabrera and they settled for 5th and 6th place.
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) August 22, 2018
Now, with both men drawing towards the end of their respective careers at different speeds, the pay-per-view cameras will follow them down the fairways and we’ll finally get the unique opportunity to decide for ourselves whether there ever was any real animosity between them.
We might hear some off the cuff exchanges, insider commentary and read into every insult and joke, but there’s an enormous amount of pride at stake too. Neither man wants to lose what promises to be the biggest money game in golf since Titanic Thompson last rolled up to the LA Country Club in a black sedan.
And when Tiger Woods remarked ‘I think it will be done differently’ it almost certainly means side bets on longest drives and closest to the pin challenges too. Phil Mickelson feels Woods is the man to beat, tweeting an early jibe at Woods: “I bet you think this is the easiest $9M you will ever make”.
However, in the 32 times they have been grouped together, Mickelson has fired a lower score on 15 occasions but Woods just 14 times (and there were 3 ties). So, while Woods might be a firm favourite, it is far more even in terms of previous results.
If you are looking to get in on the high-stakes action and back either golfer yourself, then Paddy Power has all the odds in its Showdown at Shadow Creek market.
The host course will be Shadow Creek in Las Vegas and it is set to be played on Thanksgiving weekend at the end of November.
You might already know Shadow Creek as being one of the most expensive public golf courses to play in the world ($500 a pop if you’re interested) and there will be no general sale of tickets to watch it live. It is a course that is somehow accessible yet expensively exclusive at the same time.
As it stands this is exactly how the TV coverage will play out too. It will only be available on live pay-per-view distributed through Turner’s live sports streaming service in the US and on HBO and AT&T’s DirecTV, as well as some other on-demand platforms. We await details on the UK TV coverage.