Woods-Mickelson 'pillow fight' struggles to match hype

Oscar Cross
November 24, 2018

In spite of some hefty side-bets early during their showdown on Friday, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson failed to deliver an early punch during the telecast.

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

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

Mickelson had missed a 6-footer the previous time they played the hole, then told Woods, "I don't want to win this way, " and told him to pick up his 5-footer to tie.

Woods got back on level terms with a two-putt birdie on the par-five seventh, but promptly three-putted the next to fall one down again.

And Mickelson has already lost a $200,000 bet.

However, neither man was able to shine over the opening nine holes, which ended with Mickelson 1 up, prompting some good-natured criticism from fellow professionals on social media.

Mickelson looked odd-on to wrap up the contest when he knocked his tee shot to 12 feet at the 17th and Woods went long and into the back fringe, only for the 42-year-old to produce a sublime chip-in which won him the hole when Mickelson's birdie putt burned the edge.


"I feel like the first hole is a great hole for me", Mickelson said, per ESPN.

"I know I'm going to make birdie on the first hole", Mickelson said. Money from side bets will also be donated to charity.

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

Mickelson took the most, but don't feel sorry for Woods, who likely still walked away with a healthy cut of what was apparently far more than $9 million up front just for these two to square off.

Even though the ending was fun, the golf was still maybe not the best these two have ever played.

Both players shot 69 in the regulation holes, with Woods making six birdies and three bogeys.

However, the mediocre golf continued as Woods hit his approach to 80 feet and Mickelson came up short in a green-side bunker.

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