Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson Planning $10 Million Match-Play Event

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJuly 6, 2018

Phil Mickelson, left, shakes hands with Tiger Woods, after the first round of the Players Championship golf tournament, Thursday, May 10, 2018, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are organizing a "$10 million winner-take-all, 18-hole death match" to be broadcast on national television, according to Alan Shipnuck of Golf.com.

The duo were originally aiming for a July 3 date, though it got pushed back.

"We're working on a different date," Mickelson said Thursday. "I thought it was done for the 3rd, but obviously it wasn't."

Mickelson added of the stakes: "It's a ridiculous amount of money. No matter how much money you have, this amount will take both of us out of our comfort zone."

While negotiations for the matchup have been going on for a while, per Shipnuck, Mickelson first floated it publicly during the Masters:

"The excitement that's been going on around here, it gets me thinking: Why don't we just bypass all the ancillary stuff of a tournament and just go head-to-head and just have kind of a high-stakes, winner-take-all match? Now, I don't know if he wants a piece of me, but I just think it would be something that would be really fun for us to do, and I think there would be a lot of interest in it if we just went straight to the final round."

Woods played along during Masters week.

"I'm definitely not against that," he said. "We'll play for whatever makes him uncomfortable."

The pair have long been rivals but have built a friendship later in their careers. In a televised game of match play between the two, however, Mickelson suggested the competitive juices would get flowing and fans might see a different side of the sport.

"You will hear a lot of the comments that you don't hear on regular TV. We both like to talk smack, and we both have fun with what we're doing. And the fact that this isn't an official tournament, that it's just a head-to-head match, you'll hear some of the little nuances, some of the little things that you don't normally pick up."

At their respective heights, Woods and Mickelson were the top golfers in the game. Woods has won 14 majors, though none since 2008. Mickelson holds five major titles, with the last coming in 2013.

Woods is currently 67th in the world rankings. Mickelson sits at 20th. Woods has not won an event this year, while Mickelson has won one. Neither, by any means, is a poor golfer, and the excitement will be palpable.