SI.com – Two months ago at the Players Championship, where Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson were paired together for the first two rounds, Mickelson suggested he and his rival-turned-friend Woods skip the tournament stuff and play a “high-stakes, winner-take-all match.”
It would appear that the two players are ready to put their money where their mouths are, as a report from Golf.com’s Alan Shipnuck suggests the two legends are planning a head-to-head match for $10 million.
Mickelson also said that both players would be willing to wear microphones to enhance the spectacle of the made-for-TV matchup.
If the people in charge of scheduling pay-per-views at Showtime or HBO aren’t on the phone with Tiger and Phil right now, they should be fired. Just think about it- two of golf’s biggest rivals with a storied past facing off in a winner-take-all match for $10 million. Who cares if they’ve become friendlier with one another over the years? When that much cash is on the line, you know there will be a surplus of trash talking and head games. Tiger and Phil both have polarizing personalities, and often people found themselves hating Phil because they were Tiger Guys and vise versa. I always hated Phil during the glory days of the rivalry. Not because I thought Phil was a bad golfer or because I didn’t like Phil as a person, but a lot of his fan base had a little brother complex that was off-putting, which was totally his fault and I’m completely justified in my former hate for him. I know that’s ironic for me to say as I sit here puffing my Tiger fandom chest, but that’s the fact, Jack (Nicklaus).
I’m glad that Phil already came out and addressed what we were all thinking, and yes, the players will be willing to wear microphones. I don’t think that’s worth it if it’s on regular network television though. Wouldn’t you pay $39.95 for 18-holes at TPC Sawgrass with guys just being dudes and shooting the shit? What if Tiger has a huge putt coming up and Phil want’s to make a Perkins waitress joke to throw him off his game? I don’t think the network execs at NBC would be too keen on that idea. Maybe Phil is sitting 130-yards out and he needs to knock it down within 10-feet to steal a stroke from Eldrick (that’s Tiger, n00bs) and the man dressed in red wants to make an insider trading or U.S. Open choke job joke? I have a feeling the brass at CBS would have an issue with that too. We don’t need microphones for a series of “nice shot” and “oh buddy, I thought you had me there” sound clips. No, I want Tiger and Phil making Andrew Dice Clay squirm, and I think they both possess that capability.
I’m not predicting Mayweather vs. McGregor numbers, but Phil’s share of the PPV money would help soften the blow of him losing $10 million. Tiger would probably just donate his to charity or use the money to put on another youth golf clinic, but we’re not here to judge. Speaking of judges, isn’t it weird how Phil’s buddy Billy Walters got 5-years in prison for insider trading charges directly related to Phil’s trading of Dean Foods? Probably just a big misunderstanding that Phil had no knowledge of. Weird.
In all seriousness, both of these guys have their flaws. One with moral flaws and one with felonious flaws. My golf instructor always said flaws are flaws, so I’m not gonna say which one I think probably deserved at the very least some fines from the SEC. As a
journalist it’s my job to tell the story, not persuade the readers into thinking the correct way blogger I just want funny things to happen so I can write about them. If that means Phil escaping the SEC’s wrath and Tiger fleeing from a soon-to-be-ex-wife with a 9-iron, then sign me up.
At the end of the day, it’s just nice to see two legends from my era making things interesting again. The days of Phil and Tiger both battling for the victory on Sunday are probably over. We may still see each guy make their run at some trophies, but that feeling of waking up on Sunday and wondering whether it will be Phil or Tiger coming out on top are probably over. The only reason I ever picked up a golf club in the first place was because of Tiger Woods. Tiger burst into the golf scene when I was in elementary school. There were two things that made you a badass in elementary school: a Starter jacket and a red and black Tiger Woods Nike hat. I had both, not to brag.
Tiger is the reason I’ve spent an insane amount of money on greens fees, Nike polos, new clubs and everything else that comes with the sport of golf. Maybe Tiger should be thanking me for making the ability to gamble $10 million on a round of golf possible. I’ll just accept a hat-tip during his victory speech after paying my $39.95. Even Stevens.Follow @BennyMacBlog