It’s been a week since the last putt was made at The Match: Tiger Woods vs Phil Mickelson at Shadow Creek Golf Course in Las Vegas.
It’s been a week since Mickelson scooped the $9 million (about R124 million) in cash, and bragging rights after he won one-up in a winner-takes-all matchplay on the 22nd hole under floodlights.
After the American duo couldn’t be separated through 19 holes, they played a specially crafted 93-yard par-three on three occasions, until Mickelson sank a four-foot putt for the win.
So, was it a success? Did it live up to all the hype?
It’s a no for me, even though the organisers got a lot right.
Firstly, they picked two world-class golfers with massive fan-bases. Between them they have won 19 Majors and 123 PGA Tour titles. Also, after a spell in the wilderness, Woods has got everyone talking after a wonderful season where he ended a 1 876- day title drought, reigniting the hope that he can chase down Jack Nicklaus’ record 18 Majors.
Secondly, the venue was super cool. Playing against the backdrop of Sin City, on a course not many would be familiar with, was sheer genius.
Lastly, the idea was spot on. In a day and age where sports fans want to see the action up close and personal, what better way than come up with an inviting script, slap some microphones on the players and put some drones in the air, and you have something people want to watch?
But as quality as the players were, their selection is where they probably went wrong. The golf wasn’t spectacular – they both shot an acceptable 69 in regulation, with only nine birdies on the day.
They also don’t have the most exciting personalities, as witnessed over five hours last Friday. Their banter was only really golf-related, and they were very serious. It didn’t help that you could hear Mickelson panting while walking to his ball from hole one.
But the idea is certainly there. However, wouldn’t it be cool to watch the unpredictable John Daly against the passionate Jon Rahm? Or listen to Ernie Els and Louis Oosthuizen rating the Springboks’ World Cup chances in between strokes?
I’d pay good money to see Daly breaking a club, or hear Els muttering “don’t pull it you d**s” after a poor tee shot because the outrageous would certainly outweigh the average.