The relationship between Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods has evolved a lot of the past few years. Both have said that their involvement in the Ryder Cup Task Force and being a part of numerous international team events in recent years has allowed them to step outside the ropes as competitors and work towards a common goal.
Now, with both players back competing — and in Phil’s case, winning — on the PGA Tour, that relationship building has regained its competitive edge. On Tuesday in the press center at TPC Sawgrass, ahead of the two veterans’ marquee pairing, Phil threw down the gauntlet to one of his playing partners.
“As I look at the cover of the newspaper and the pairing is on there and 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,” Mickelson said. “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.”
A one-on-one match between two of the greatest players of all-time? Who wouldn’t want to see that?
When Tiger was asked about in his press conference a few hours later, his response was perfect.
“Ooh,” Woods said with a smile when told of Phil’s idea for a high-stakes match. “I’m definitely not against that. We’ll play for whatever makes him uncomfortable.”
At this point in their lives and careers, enough money to make either of these guys uncomfortable has to be in the tens of millions of dollars, but if the powers-that-be can make it happen — for charity or otherwise — the ratings are sure to be through the roof.