Wednesday, 20 March, 2019

Phil Mickelson defeats Tiger Woods in 'The Match'

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Melody Ballard | 24 November, 2018, 06:30

Only 700 invited guests were allowed to watch the event billed as golf's first pay-per-view broadcast.

Woods won $200,000 on the first hole when Mickelson missed his birdie putt, but Mickelson swept three "closest to the pin" wagers on par 3s for a total of $600,000.

However following an ideal tee shot on the 379-yard par four and an approach to eight feet, Mickelson missed his birdie attempt after Woods had also failed to convert from slightly further.

It's the first time gambling and sports has been so overtly aligned in a United States sports broadcast, but at least these bets were going to charity.

Both birdied the par-5 18th and then parred the first playoff hole before it went to the par-3 extra hole that they kept playing until there was a victor. But Mickelson tied him with a birdie putt at the 14th, then went ahead when Woods bogeyed the 15th.

Mickelson was 1-up through nine holes and was leading Woods $300,000 to $200,000 in side-bet money won after winning two closest-to-the-pin bets on the front nine.

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That meant the players returned to the 18th for the first play-off hole and, with daylight fading, if the match was not resolved there they would use a makeshift 95-yard hole to decide the outcome.

"I'm just trying to calm down right now, my heart can't take much more", Mickelson said afterward. But just know I will not ever let you live this one down. Winnings from the side bets will reportedly go to charity. I did not see Mickelson making fewer bogeys than Woods at the start of this thing.

Woods split the 18th fairway, while Mickelson's drive wound up in the first cut of the rough.

"You couldn't have made this event any better than it was, " he said.

After the two most popular golfers of their era hit their opening tee shots at Shadow Creek, they set off for what proved to be an underwhelming round in which both failed to deliver the highlight reel-type shots that have defined their careers.

While the pay-per-view event was priced at $19.99, promoters chose to offer it free online at some point during play because of what they described as technical issues that impacted user access.

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