It’s a matchup for the ages — Tigers Woods going one-on-one against Phil Mickelson with $9 million on the line.
The event, dubbed “The Match,” will take place at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas on Friday at 11 a.m. PST, and will see Woods — who experienced a career resurgence this year — go against Mickelson, who earned his first victory in five years in March.
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And in a first for professional golf, the competition will be shown exclusively on pay-per-view, a venue usually reserved for boxing or the WWE, and will be available through B/R Live, DirecTV, AT&T U-verse, Comcast, Charter, Cox, Verizon, and other providers for $20. Those hoping to score admission to the event will be out of luck, since tickets aren’t being sold (guests at the course will be invite-only).
With Woods, 42, and Mickelson, 48, being two of the biggest names in the game, a unique format such as this might be hard to pass up for golf fans.
“He came along and broke every single record I had,” Mickelson said of Woods during a press conference on Tuesday, according to ESPN. “Junior records, college, U.S. amateur: I won one, he won three. At Shadow Creek, I shot the course-record 61. A couple of years later, you shoot 60.”
He continued: “But Friday you’ve got to do it simultaneously. You can’t come along and do it later. It’s my chance after losing so many tournaments to you, so many majors, to get something back.”
Mickelson said he is viewing the match as his chance to finally earn some bragging rights against Woods.
“This is a unique opportunity to do something that I’ve had a hard time doing, which is to get a leg up on Tiger even if it’s just one day,” Mickelson said during the press conference.
“It’s great to win the $9 million, but I just don’t want to lose to him. The bragging rights are the thing. I want to be able to rub it in; I don’t want it to be rubbed in. I want to sit in the champions locker room at Augusta [National, home of the Masters] and talk smack.”
But since his performance at the Ryder Cup, Woods said he took a break before he resumed golfing activities in anticipation of his match against Mickelson.
“I’ve been getting back practicing and playing and grinding and playing golf again,” Woods said on Tuesday. “It’s been fun. Gets my juices flowing again.”
During the competition, Woods and Mickelson will be able to make side challenges for additional money, such as challenging the other to a long-drive. The cash will be donated to the winning golfer’s charity of choice, the PGA announced.
The side challenges have already commenced, it seems, as Mickelson said he felt confident he would birdie his first hole, and put $100,000 on the line for it during their presser.
“I feel like the first hole is a great hole for me,” Mickelson said, according to ESPN. “And I believe — in fact, I’m willing to risk $100,000 that says I birdie the first hole. So that’s how good I feel heading into this match.”
Then, Woods, feeling just as confident, challenged the golfer to double the bet to $200,000.
“Did you see how I baited him like that?” Mickelson said, smiling. “Yes. $200 [thousand] says I birdie the first hole.”