Mickelson Wins the Match Against Woods with a Birdie on 22nd Hole
Phil Mickelson beat Tiger Woods in overtime Friday in their $9-M pay-per-view match in Las Vegas that ended up free for many viewers because of technical problems.
Mr. Mickelson won on the 22nd hole, making a 4-ft birdie putt on a specially set up 93-yard, par 3. The match at Shadow Creek Golf Club finished under the lights.
Mr. Mickelson said to Mr. Woods after the match: “Just know I will never let you live that down. It is not the Masters or the US Open, but it is nice to have a little something on you.”
Mr. Woods said he enjoyed the match, even if he was on the losing end.
“You could not have made this event any better than it was,” he said. “It was back and forth and very competitive on a golf course that was playing on the tricky side.”
There were 700 invited guests at the Shadow Creek event.
The match was billed as a chance for viewers to watch an nontraditional golf broadcast as both golfers and their caddies were mic’d up. It also featured live odds from MGM resorts and a drone was used for live shots.
There was some banter between Messrs Woods and Mickelson early on but not much as the stakes increased.
Mr. Mickelson said on the 15th hole to Mr. Woods that “I’m trying to be more talkative but I’m not on this back nine.”
Mr. Woods responded that they were going back to their old mode of “trying to beat each other’s brains in.”
The most revealing moment on the front nine happened after Woods missed a 4-foot, short par putt on the second hole to give Mickelson an early advantage.
Then after he birdied the 17th, Mr. Woods said to caddie Joe LaCava “just like old times, buddy.”
Mr. Mickelson also said it was like old times for him against Mr. Woods after that trademark shot.
“You’ve been doing that to me for 20 years, I don’t know why I am surprised now,” he said.
Mr. Mickelson also had the advantage in challenge bets.
Mr. Woods won the 1st challenge for $200,000 when Mr. Mickelson did not birdie the 1st hole. Then Mr. Mickelson won the next 3, which were closest-to-the-pin challenges on par-3 holes, which totaled $600,000.
Both said they did not see challenge bets become a part of regular PGA Tour events.
“Maybe at match play you could but that might not be the best thing,” Mr. Mickelson said. “I think it added to the competition. It had that flavor of a Tuesday practice round with more at stake.”
Have a terrific weekend.