Woods and Mickelson set for $10m head-to-head clash

The hotly anticipated high-stakes exhibition match between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, the two richest and most decorated golfers of their generation, will take place Thanksgiving weekend at Shadow Creek Golf Course in Las Vegas, ESPN reported on Thursday.

The network said the one-on-one showdown will take place on either Friday (23 November) or Saturday (24 November) with a purse to be determined, though initial reports by Golf.com last month indicated it would be for a “winner-take-all” sum of $10m.

Even for Woods and Mickelson, who rank first and second on the career money leaderboard (with $112.2m and $87.6m respectively), the prize is a difference-maker.

“It’s a ridiculous amount of money,” Mickelson said in July when reports of the match were first floated. “No matter how much money you have, this amount will take both of us out of our comfort zone.”

Woods and Mickelson drew lots of attention when they played a practice round together at Augusta National before the Masters in April. When they were paired at the Players Championship a month later, marking the first time they’d played in the same group at any PGA Tour event in nearly four years, Mickelson proposed the idea.

Woods is one of golf’s most decorated players while Mickelson is one of the best liked players on tour.

“The excitement that’s been going on around here, it gets me thinking: 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-stakes, winner-take-all match?,” he said then. “Now, I don’t know if he wants a piece of me, but I just think it would be something that would be really fun for us to do, and I think there would be a lot of interest in it if we just went straight to the final round.”

Woods, who serves on the US Ryder Cup committee with Mickelson, sounded like he was up for it.

“I’m definitely not against that. We’ll play for whatever makes him uncomfortable,” he said.

Now it looks as if an idea hatched in May will become a reality in the desert.

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