“The Match”: Tiger Woods vs. Phil Mickelson

Will Schiffman

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By: Will Schiffman ’19

On November 23, while most Americans sit in a food coma post-Thanksgiving, two of the best golfers in the world will battle it out in the desert. Tiger Woods will be playing Phil Mickelson in a one round, 18-hole match. The match will be played in Las Vegas, Nevada at Shadow Creek Golf Course. The winner of the match will receive a whopping $9 million.

“The Match” will be available for viewing on Pay-Per-View, similar to boxing and MMA, at a low price of $20 or on Bleacher Report Live. Commentating for the match will be Ernie Johnson, from TNT, Samuel L. Jackson, and Charles Barkley.

This is not the first time that an event like this has occurred in the game of golf, but it certainly has been a while. It would be an understatement to say that Woods and Mickelson have some history considering they have been on the PGA Tour for years together.

When Mickelson first made the Tour in 1992, he won a few tournaments early, taking home the 1993 Buick Invitational of California and the 1994 Mercedes Championships among others. For a long time, Mickelson was known as the best player to never win a major in the PGA. After 12 years on the Tour, Mickelson finally won his first major at the 2004 Masters. In Mickelson’s career he has won 43 PGA Tour Events and  a total of five majors including the Masters, The Open Championship, and the PGA Championship.

Four years after Mickelson turned pro, 20 year-old Tiger Woods busted onto the scene with two tournament victories in his first year on the PGA Tour. During his second year, Woods won four tournaments and became the youngest golfer to ever to win the Masters in 1997 at the age of 21. Woods was also voted 1997 PGA Player of the Year by the members of the PGA Tour. Woods has gone  on to win 80 PGA Tour events and 14 Majors, his most recent being the 2018 Tour Championship.

Mickelson has lived in Woods’ shadow for years, but he is now trying to show the golf world that he can beat arguably one of the best golfers in the world head-to-head. There has been a lot of smack talk between the two, both arguing their case on why they are going to win. Mickelson thinks that he is in Woods’s head, but Woods references his 80 tournament wins as the reason for his impending victory. This trash talk will continue through the match, as both the players and their caddies will be mic’d-up through the round.

The match will be set up in a match-play style. Opposed to overall lowest score, the usual style played on the tour, each hole is one point and is awarded to the player who has the best score on the hole. Along with the $9 million pot, Mickelson and Woods will be having side bets on the course including closest to the pin and longest drive.

Being only an 18 hole match, the talents of both players will be on display. We will see Mickelson’s great chipping and his incredible ability to find his way out of the worst positions. Meanwhile, Tiger will show us his great iron play and his swagger with  every club twirl.

“The Match” is looking to capture the eyes of the entire country with two of the best golfers in the sport. I believe that with this being one of the only sporting events on the day after Thanksgiving, it will propel the sport of golf for the future.

Image: https://www.thewrap.com/tiger-woods-vs-phil-mickelson-commentators-named-for-black-friday-golf-match/