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There Was $9M on the Line, and One Golfer Got It All

Phil Mickelson wins match against Tiger Woods with birdie on 22nd hole
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 24, 2018 5:00 AM CST
Phil Mickelson, right, embraces Tiger Woods after Mickelson won a golf match at Shadow Creek golf course, Friday, Nov. 23, 2018, in Las Vegas.   (AP Photo/John Locher)
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(Newser) – It was billed as golf's first pay-per-view broadcast: Phil Mickelson vs. Tiger Woods in a $9 million made-for-TV match Friday in Las Vegas. Only 700 invited guests were allowed to watch, and what they saw was Mickelson win on the 22nd hole. Mickelson was 1 up after 16 holes at Shadow Creek Golf Club, but Woods tied it with birdie from the fringe of the green on the par-3 17th. Both birdied the par-5 18th and then parred the first playoff hole before it went to the par-3 extra hole—which was pitch shots off the practice putting green—that they kept playing until there was a winner. Mickelson made a 4-foot birdie putt on his third attempt at the 93-yard hole. The BBC called it "a suitably extraordinary finish to an event which, although lacking quality as a sporting spectacle, had promised to show golf as it had never been seen before."

The match was marred by technical difficulties with viewers unable to view it on TV after paying $19.95. Turner and Bleacher Report representatives sent out links on social media allowing people to view it for free online. The match was billed as a chance for viewers to watch an untraditional golf broadcast as both golfers and their caddies were mic'd up. There was some banter between Woods and Mickelson early on but not much as the stakes increased. After the match, Mickelson said to Woods: "Just know I will never let you live that down. It's not the Masters or the US Open, but it is nice to have a little something on you." Bleacher Report notes Mickelson's winnings outpace the $8.7 million PGA Tour leading money winner Justin Thomas won in total last season. ESPN reports Mickelson will actually walk with more than $9 million: A side bet with Woods earned him $600,000 for the Phil & Amy Mickelson Foundation.

(Read more Phil Mickelson stories.)

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