In Brief

Tiger Woods vs. Phil Mickelson: ‘The Match’ tee times, UK TV channel, predictions

American golfers go head-to-head in a $9m showdown in Las Vegas

The Match: Tiger vs. Phil
  • What: Tiger Woods vs. Phil Mickelson 18-hole golf exhibition 
  • When: Friday 23 November 
  • Start time: 8pm (UK time)
  • Where: Shadow Creek Golf Course, Las Vegas, Nevada 
  • Prize money: $9m (£7m) winner-takes-all
  • TV channel: live on Sky Sports Golf

Phil Mickelson is hoping to finally get one over Tiger Woods and take home the $9m (£7m) winner’s cheque when the pair go head-to-head on Friday.  

The two American golf icons will play each other in an 18-hole exhibition at Shadow Creek Golf Course in Las Vegas in a clash that is being billed as “The Match: Tiger vs. Phil”.

All proceeds are going to charity, but the winner will receive a huge pay-day. Five-time major champion Mickelson hopes it will be him.

Quoted by Sky Sports, Mickelson, who is 48, said: “This is my chance, after losing so many majors to Tiger, to get something back... I’ve spent the last month grinding and working on my game every day.

“I have kept my game sharp, and it’s great to have the chance to go head-to-head with Tiger and win $9m. I just don’t want to lose, I want to be able to rub it in!”

Both the players and their caddies will be wearing microphones on the course. They will be putting wagers on the longest drive and closest to the pin, The Sun reports.

Woods, a 14-time major winner, believes “The Match” could be an event that is “very different for golf”. The 42-year-old said: “We’ll be able to showcase our sport in a different light, with the different technologies we will be using. It’s exciting for me and Phil and for viewers.”

Big bets

A $200,000 (£156,300) bet has been made between the players on who can birdie the first hole. Sky Sports says that the side-challenges will benefit various charitable causes and come “out of the players’ own pockets”.

Gambling will also be a major part of “The Match” as viewers will be able to see live odds on their screens. SB Nation calls the Tiger vs. Phil clash “a gambling event with some golf mixed in”.

Mickelson said: “It’s a glimpse into the future of sports. We’ll have live odds on screen so the viewers can place wagers and they’ll be able to hear all of the banter.”

The event will offer a rare insight into the sport. “If people don’t like it, then it’s probably going to be one-and done, but I think it will go down well”, he said.

For people watching the game, the experience will be a new one. “This event is designed to be a unique golfing experience for the viewer, with the insight, the drone coverage, the live on-screen gambling and the live microphones”, he said.

Pressure on the players will be high but Mickelson insisted he was confident of the event’s success. “I think it will benefit the game, and we should attract sports viewers that we’ve never captured before in golf.”

About ‘The Match: Tiger vs. Phil’ 

Where is it being played?

The 18-hole match play exhibition will be played at the Shadow Creek Golf Course in Las Vegas, Nevada.

What time does it start?

The first tee shot will be played at 8pm (UK time) on Friday 23 November.

Will it be on TV in the UK?

PGA.com says that the Woods vs. Mickelson match will be available for $19.99 (£15.63) on pay-per-view in the US via Turner’s B/R Live, AT&T’s DIRECTV and AT&T U-verse.

In the UK Sky Sports has confirmed that it will show live coverage of ‘The Match: Tiger vs. Phil’. The broadcaster said in a statement: “Sky Sports will show American broadcaster TNT’s live feed from the event, hosted by MGM Resorts International, with five hours of live coverage beginning from 8pm on Friday on Sky Sports Golf.”

Predictions: who will win?

Sports Interaction: “This seems to mean more to Phil, who has been playing in Tiger’s shadow for years and been talking more and more smack about this victory. Plus, Mickelson is a notorious bettor on the course and has one of the greatest short games in history. Lefty is your winner.”

Bob Harig, ESPN: “For all the reasons that Phil is an underdog – lackluster play of late, a resurgent Tiger, etc. – I think he will win. Mickelson loves this challenge, and 18 holes of match play, with banter and side bets and the possibility for some gamesmanship, suits him perfectly. He is perfectly suited for this type of challenge. While Woods will bring plenty of game, Phil squeaks this one out. 1 up.”

Ian O’Connor, ESPN: “No, this isn’t the Sunday back nine at the Masters, and no, this isn’t going to impact either player’s legacy. But Woods has always considered himself an athlete first, a golfer second, and his competitive spirit won’t allow him to lose a one-on-one exhibition against someone he regards as a lesser athlete, golfer and closer. Tiger 2 & 1.”  

Kyle Porter, CBS Sports: “I think Tiger gets him 3 and 2. It will be incredibly awkward if the match ends after, say, 12 or 13 holes, but I think Tiger is just a much better golfer than Phil right now. That doesn’t always matter in match play, and maybe it won’t matter this week, but odds are that it will.”

Cameron Salce, Pro Golf Now: “Tiger still looks like the better choice to win this match, not only because he has had Phil’s number throughout their careers, but because his game is well suited for match play. If he has one blow up hole or misses a fairway by a wide margin it won’t affect him as much as if it were a stroke play event, so he will be able to go after nearly every shot.”

Brendan Porath, SB Nation: “This is honestly the part I care about the least but I do think Tiger wins. Phil’s game looked horrendous to end the year. It wasn’t great really since the spring. Does that mean much for this match? Probably not but if he can’t put the ball in the fairway, and it seems unlikely he can, Tiger has the advantage. He’s the favourite and that’s who I’m rolling with on Friday.”

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