The $9 Million Match: Tiger Woods vs. Phil Mickelson

By Ryan Watson

Golf is a sport more concerned with decorum and history than most. Proper dress, good manners and genteel airs are common at PGA Tour events and golf clubs throughout the world. What it doesn’t have a lot of is grand spectacle, at least since John Daly was a constant fixture on the greens. However, old hands and verifiable legends Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are looking to change that with their winner-take-all match at Shadow Creek, one of the best golf courses in Las Vegas.

The match, officially known as Capital One’s The Match: Tiger vs. Phil, is scheduled for Friday, November 23, the day after Thanksgiving. The game has grown out of the once heated but now largely friendly rivalry that Woods and Mickelson had during the early 2000s. In those early days, “Lefty” was largely on the losing side of Woods’ dominance. However, beginning around 2007, Mickelson began to get the better of his rival. Both acknowledge that the few times they were paired together they enjoyed some "friendly" banter, and that is likely to return in this high stakes match.

Trash talking is likely to play a central role in the match as both players and their caddies will be mic’d up. The premise is to play golf as millions of golfers do every week, with golfers competing to win each individual hole in a match play event. Also similar to the weekend hackers is the chance for each golfer to make side bets throughout the game. The money won on these side bets will be donated to the charity of choice by the winning golfer. Viewers will also see real-time analytics as both ShotLink and MGM Resorts Race & Sports Books will deliver the probable outcome of each stroke and the changing odds throughout the match. Adding to the spectacle will be Charles Barkley and Samuel L. Jackson, who were recently named as part of the broadcast team. Fans can only see the match on pay-per-view and through Turner Sport’s B/R Live online streaming service for $20. Unfortunately, the event is only open to a small invitation only crowd set to attend the festivities in Vegas.

About the Author

Ryan Watson is a freelance sportswriter and history professor. He has been an avid fan of golf since his father signed him up for golf camp as a young child. Ryan enjoys following the professional game and learning about new equipment and gadgets.