Tiger Woods’ miracle comeback was derailed by Phil Mickelson in “The Match” on Friday.
Viewers couldn’t have asked for any more drama. The grand prize was $9 million but bragging rights were also at stake for the two greatest golfers of this generation.
Phil Mickelson gets the win but he says Tiger Woods is still “the best of all time.’ https://t.co/EMWyD9uVBL
Mickelson doesn’t have the better career, but he was the best in this head-to-head showdown and endured one of Tiger’s magical late runs to win the first of its kind pay-per-view golf event at Shadow Creek.
Of course Samuel L. Jackson is introducing the players… Follow Tiger Woods v Phil Mickelson LIVE?https://t.co/QMorbVjR3V #bbcgolf
The 42-year-old Woods was the favorite entering the match, but the 48-year-old Mickelson threw a kink in Tiger’s miracle redemption year. A year that ended with Tiger winning the PGA Tour Championship in Atlanta, his first tour win since 2013.
Tiger lacked consistency early in “the Match” and the contest seemed pretty much over by the 17th hole. However, with the flair and drama reminiscent of when Tiger was the most dominant force on the links, Woods chipped in a 22-footer from the edge of the green and Mickelson missed to square things up once more.
When he needed it most … @TigerWoods chips in for birdie on 17 to put the pressure on Phil. #LiveUnderPar https://t.co/affNL4RS1j
Woods, the 14-time major champion, led just once (after winning the 12th hole) and also lost $400,000 in side bets to Mickelson which will be donated to charity.
With both players mic’d up, there was smack talking which eventually simmered into typically the restrained banter you’d find at a normal golf match. That aspect of the match was disappointing, but seeing two masters of the art form square up was worth the $19.95 price tag.
No tickets were sold to the public, but the event still drew 700 people in attendance with connections to sponsors or broadcast teams.