The Match: Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson tee off for huge payday | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 23.11.2018
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The Match: Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson tee off for huge payday

Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are set to tee off in a made-for-TV, pay-per-view event in which the winner stands to earn millions of dollars. The duel comes with both golfers nowhere near the prime of their careers.

This Friday's television event, which has been dubbed "The Match," is a one-on-one duel at the Shadow Creek Golf Course in Las Vegas  that many fans of golf may well have craved when longtime rivals Tiger Woods, 42, and Phil Mickelson, 48, were at the top of their games, but that was some time ago.

15 years too late

"Look, if they had done it 15 years ago it would have been great," said four-time major champion Rory McIlroy. "But nowadays, it has missed the mark a little bit."

The current world No. 4, Justin Thomas, said he couldn't see himself paying the $19.99 (€17.57) that American golf fans are being asked to shell out to watch this purely pay-per-view event.

"Love TW and Phil to death, but there's a 0% chance I order that," Thomas wrote on Twitter last month. "I'll be watching football!"

'Ridiculous sum'

Still, it seems there is no shortage of golf fans who are more than willing to part with their hard-earned cash to watch The Match, so much so that the sponsors have put up $9 million for the winner of the round of 18, which Mickelson has admitted is a "ridiculous" sum.

As if to emphasize how much money they already have, the two golfers are expected to make numerous wagers during the round, in which both they and their caddies will be mic'd up. Mickelson (pictured above, left) has already bet $100,000 that he would birdie the first hole. Woods (above, right) not only took him up on it, but doubled the wager. The good news, though, is that both men have said that they would donate some of their proceeds to charity.

A frosty rivalry thawed

The two men are known to have had a frosty rivalry in their prime, but they have become friendlier in recent years, a fact that doesn't necessarily to work to the promoters' advantage. An attempt to line them up in a boxing-style stare-down at a pre-event press conference this week lasted only a few seconds before the two burst into laughter

Still, Mickelson insisted that it wasn't just about the money.

"I just don't want to lose to him and give him the satisfaction because the bragging rights are going to be even worse than the money," Mickelson said.

"We've gone at it for over two decades," Woods said. "I missed competing and being able to go against Phil like this. It gets my juices flowing, for sure."

While both men are very much past their prime, both did record victories on the PGA in 2018. However it's been five years since Mickelson won his last major.

pfd/mp (AFP, AP)

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