Tiger vs. Phil: Breaking Down Every Hole at Shadow Creek

Eric Vander VoortContributor INovember 19, 2018

FILE - In this May 10, 2018, file photo, Phil Mickelson, left, and Tiger Woods shake hands after the first round of the Players Championship golf tournament, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.  The winner-take-all match between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson is on.  WarnerMedia says it has secured the rights for a pay-per-view event it is promoting as
Shadow Creek

Two of golf's biggest stars, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, will square off in Capital One's The Match on Friday. If there's a third star of the event, it will be the venue.

Shadow Creek Golf Course, an exclusive golf oasis just north of downtown Las Vegas, is this host of the match. We talked to John Buffalo, the Assistant Golf Professional at Shadow Creek, who gave an insider's view as to how the course will play when Tiger and Phil tee it up on Friday.

Capital One's The Match will be on B/R Live and pay-per-view on Nov. 23 with coverage starting at 2 p.m. ET. You can buy it here.


Hole 1
Par 4, 393 yards

Shadow Creek Golf Course

Shadow Creek opens with a par-four dogleg left. There's a creek that runs up the entire left side of the hole, making trying to cut the dogleg a dangerous move.

Pro's take: "More than likely, they'll play for position and hit either a 3-wood or 2-iron over the left bunker. They'll probably play it safe."

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Hole 2
Par 4, 435 yards

Shadow Creek Golf Course

For the second consecutive hole, the drivers might stay in the bag. On this par four, there's a slight turn to the right, but Tiger and Phil will have to be careful about hitting too far.

Pro's take: "They need to hit something probably about 260-285 to stay in the fairway. Anything past 285 will put them through the fairway down in the rough."


Hole 3
Par 4, 486 yards

Shadow Creek Golf Course

With an elevated green, the second shot adds about eight yards uphill. Be careful of the approach: Anything just short of the green is going to roll back down about 20 yards.

Pro's take: "If it benefits anybody, it's whoever hits a long drive in the fairway."


Hole 4
Par 5, 581 yards

Shadow Creek Golf Course

The first par five at Shadow Creek has a lake that starts about 200 yards from the tee box and hugs the left side of the rest of the hole. The fairway bends to the left around the lake.

Pro's take: "You can be aggressive and hug the left side and go for the green in two, but that brings the lake into play. ... If they want to be aggressive, you can get to about 250 in, but if it's windy, probably three-shot [to the green] hole."


Hole 5
Par 3, 145 yards

Shadow Creek Golf Course

The first par three at Shadow Creek is pretty straightforward. There's a hill along the left and back, so a miss that way will roll back toward the green.

Pro's take: "They'll probably try to throw a dart in there."


Hole 6
Par 4, 507 yards

Shadow Creek Golf Course

This long par four has a bunker to the right of the landing area off the tee. Then there's a tricky green with three different sections, so if Tiger and Phil hit it into the wrong part of the green, they're battling a steep ridge either up or down.

Pro's take: "You'd ideally want to play a tiny cut off the tee box. ... If they miss that bunker, they can go mid-iron, but if they hit the bunker, it's a long iron into the green."


Hole 7
Par 5, 571 yards

Shadow Creek Golf Course

This is one of the more reachable par fives, providing a good chance to get to the green in two. There are some bunkers off to the right, but a draw about 250 off the tee into the fairway can roll another 30 yards on this slight dogleg left. It's better to miss the green long rather than short, with three greenside bunkers on the front side.

Pro's take: "I doubt they'll play that as a three-shot hole. They're giving up too much to the other guy. If they're both in play, they're both going for it."


Hole 8
Par 3, 183 yards

Shadow Creek Golf Course

There's a bunker on the left side of the green on this par three. Don't be surprised if the pin is tucked in under that bunker, to force Tiger and Phil to be a little more accurate.

Pro's take: "That one you're just trying to hit a good shot in there."


Hole 9
Par 4, 423 yards

Shadow Creek Golf Course

There's a creek down the left side of fairway, but once they get to where their drives are landing, it cuts to the right, then comes back to the left. The fairway is shaped a bit like a question mark. You especially want to avoid these deep fairway bunkers. There's water all around the left side of the green.

Pro's take: "They more than likely won't hit driver, maybe 2-iron or 3-wood. Could hit driver and try to hit over bunker to the right, but only if they want to be aggressive."

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Hole 10
Par 4, 437 yards

Shadow Creek Golf Course

This is a sharp dogleg left, almost a 90-degree turn, presenting two options off the tee. There's a long diagonal bunker at the turn. There's a big tree on the right short of the green they'll have to cut around or hit over if they end up on that side.

Pro's take: "You can play a 2-iron straight up the fairway or hit driver and cut the corner off. Depending on how they decide to play it, you could see a 60- to 80-yard difference."


No. 11
Par 4, 303 yards

Shadow Creek Golf Course

A 303-yard par four? Expect to see Tiger and Phil try to drive the green here. Hit over the green, and they'll likely be OK to chip back, but end up short, there's a really deep bunker that's tough to hit out of. Miss to the right, and they'll be in some tall fescue and pine trees.

Pro's take: "This is going to be the fun hole."


Hole 12
Par 4, 405 yards

Shadow Creek Golf Course

Staying in the fairway is vital on this par four. Hit a drive too far, it could kick into some deep fescue on the right.

Pro's take: "They can hit anything from a 3-iron up to driver, depending on what they want for their second shot. More than likely, they'll play to a comfortable yardage."


Hole 13
Par 3, 220 yards

Shadow Creek Golf Course

This could be the trickiest of the par threes. It has a massive green, so depending on the pin placement, Tiger and Phil will need to hit the right distance on their tee shot. End up on the wrong side, and it can be a tough green to navigate.

Pro's take: "You need to hit your tee shot into the right section of the green; otherwise, you can easily three-putt."


Hole 14
Par 4, 493 yards

Shadow Creek Golf Course

There's a 35-yard long bunker down the right side of the fairway. Then on the second shot, they'll be dealing with a tree that blocks the left side of the green and a lake to the right. The fairway slopes left to right.

Pro's take: "If the pin is left, you have to hit a high shot. Or draw/cut around [the tree]."


Hole 15
Par 4, 482 yards

Shadow Creek Golf Course

There are traps all over. Water runs up the entire left side of the fairway, then it cuts over so the green is on the left side of the creek. There's a fairway bunker on the right to avoid. And it's possibly the fastest green on the course.

Pro's take: "The fairway cuts right to left, so you have to be careful not to hit something that will funnel into the creek on the left. The second shot, you're going over the water. Distance control is going to be key there."


Hole 16
Par 5, 620 yards

Shadow Creek Golf Course

Here's the longest hole on the course. It's not impossible to reach in two but will require near perfect shots. It has a long green from left to right but isn't very deep, and there's a bunker to watch for in front of either side.

Pro's take: "Hitting the fairway is a must off the tee to have any chance of going for it [in two]. In order to go for it, they'll have to take on a bunker on the left. They'll have to hit 3-wood or driver off the deck. I think it'll be impossible to go 5-wood."


Hole 17
Par 3, 151 yards

Shadow Creek Golf Course

This is a straight par three that goes downhill about eight yards. There's a big lake in between the tee box and the green, with one bunker short left, one short right and two long over.

Pro's take: "It's a very narrow green, almost like 12 at Augusta. ... Distance control is imperative."


Hole 18
Par 5, 529 yards

Shadow Creek Golf Course

Shadow Creek's conclusion is a reachable but busy par five. There are three lakes along the way that waterfall into each other to the right, then they'll have to hit over the water to get to the green.

Pro's take: "You can bail out right on the second shot, but you can't bail out left at all. If you don't hit a good drive, you're going to have to lay up. You have to imagine they're going high. As long as they avoid the water, they'll be swinging for the fences."


While you're watching, you can play the Pick 'Em Challenge, attempting to build streaks of correctly picking the result of each hole. A perfect game will win $1 million, and the overall points leader will win an all-expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas.

Head here to start making your picks now.


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