A $10 million clash between long-time rivals Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson is back on the agenda, but will it actually happen?
Woods and Mickelson had been expected to go head-to-head in a winner-takes-all money spinner on July 3 in Las Vegas. But for one reason or another the hugely anticipated clash never took place. Luckily, fans of the two former world number ones may yet get the showdown they long for; a pay-TV battle is still firmly in the thoughts of both.
The head-to-head between the pair gathered more traction when they were drawn in the same three-ball at the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills last month.
Will Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson really go head to head?
Mickelson said ahead of that pairing: “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-stake, winner-take-all match?”
In the same press conference, Woods added: “I’m definitely not against that. We’ll play for whatever makes him uncomfortable.”
The figure is rumoured to be $10 million although deals with sponsors and television companies is what is said to have held up the initial date of 3 July for the Woods-Mickelson shootout.
“We’re working on a different date,” Mickelson told Golf.com. “I thought it was done for the third but obviously it wasn’t,” he added.
Neither are at the top of the game any longer with Woods’ fall from grace a well-known story of injuries and off-course problems. But both Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson remain two of golf’s most familiar names and there is undoubted interest in seeing the old foes lock horns in a one-on-one battle.
Older golf fans will remember Shell’s World of Golf, which was first held in 1961 to 1970 and returned in the 1990s. It featured clashes between Nick Faldo and Greg Norman and Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer among others.
There have also been similar concepts with Woods taking on David Duval and then Sergio Garcia. Also, Nicklaus and Lee Trevino battled it out and even Annika Sorenstam and Karrie Webb got in on the act.
While all of those names would have been at the top of their games at the time, that is not the case with Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. That said, both are still competing for PGA Tour and major success, although not with the same frequency as they did in their pomp in the 1990s and 2000s.
Back to winning days?
Woods has not won an event since 2013, when he lifted the Bridgestone Invitational. His last major success was a decade ago in the 2008 U.S. Open. Mickelson, meanwhile, has won just one tournament since triumphing in the Open Championship 2013—the WGC Mexico Championship earlier this year.
If a showdown was to happen, a Dustin Johnson v Jordan Spieth or Justin Thomas one would make more sense as the world’s best players at present. But the draw card offered by both Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson make this such a good opportunity for golf to gain some incredible publicity. And that’s why the $10 million clash is likely to happen.