The Match: Phil Edges Tiger in Snoozefest

It took 22 holes – three of them played on a makeshift pitch and putt 93 yarder behind the clubhouse, but Phil Mickelson finally prevailed by making a four-foot putt in the dark to end what amounted to an over-hyped snoozefest.

Mickelson, though – right to the end, played the part of the goofy wrestling heel, pretending the event actually mattered beyond the obscene $9 million in cold hard cash he was awarded. (Note: No world rankings points were awarded.)

“I know big picture, your career is the greatest of all time,” Mickelson said to Woods in a post-telecast interview.

“I’ve seen you do things that are just remarkable. But just know I will not ever let you live this one down. I will bring it up everytime I see you.”

Continuing with the wrestling theme, the winner received a belt in addition to the piles of cash, and Mickelson claimed it’s something he’ll hold over Woods.

Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods The Match
Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods play from a bunker on the 14th hole during The Match at Shadow Creek GC on November 23, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

“It’s not the Masters, it’s not the U.S. Open, I know, but it’s something,” said Mickelson. “It’s nice to have a little something on you.”

Woods, who appeared rusty and somewhat detached throughout the event – similar to how he looked in France, took the ribbing in stride.

“I had plenty of opportunities to make putts today, and I didn’t make any putts to put a little bit of pressure on Phil. I had an opportunity on the last hole to win the match, and I hit a bad putt,” said Woods.

“And then in extra holes — how do you not hit the green with a lob wedge? Twice? So that was an opportunity that went wasted, and Phil capitalized on it.”

In the end, both players shot 3-under 69 over the 18 holes in regulation with each winning four holes a piece and tying on 10 others. Woods finished with six birdies against three bogeys, while Mickelson carded a bogey-free round with three gains.

Tiger Woods The Match
Tiger Woods during The Match at Shadow Creek GC on November 23, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The highlight of the day occurred on the 17th hole, when Woods chipped in for birdie to tie the match. They then tied the 18th hole twice, before playing the temporary kiddie hole three times, while teeing off from a practice putting green.

Mickelson also won three side bets totaling $600,000 by hitting a shot closer to the pin on Nos. 5, 8, and 13, while Woods claimed a $200,000 bet on hole No. 1. Reportedly, the side bet money must come from the players’ personal funds and paid to their respective charities. No word if those payments will be audited.


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