2020 Masters Choose Your Own Adventure, Tiger Woods vs. Phil Mickelson: All Business
Harry How/Getty Images for The Match
The trash-talking stops, each player too focused.
Hey, it’s one thing to trash-talk for the first 14 holes of a major championship final round. It’s quite another to keep doing it for the final four.
In fact, as you’re watching them, you don’t even see them look at each other, let alone talk to each other. Knowing the gravity of the situation, Tiger and Phil let their clubs do the talking down the stretch.
As it turns out, they have plenty to say.
Mickelson makes eagle on 15, as Woods can only counter with a birdie.
Woods birdies 16, though, as Mickelson only makes par.
They each birdie 17 to remain tied for the lead, well ahead of everyone else who’s now in the clubhouse.
On 18, they each pummel drives right down the middle of the fairway. Then they each hit approach shots to 12 feet, right next to each other.
In fact, the balls are so close that they need a rules official to determine which one of them is away and should putt first. The official determines that it’s Woods, by mere millimeters.
He sizes up the birdie attempt, rolls it right at the hole and it stops dead in the heart, just a few revolutions from dropping into the cup. Mickelson, with nearly the exact same putt, now rolls it on the very same line, just a touch harder and it drops into the cup for birdie and the victory.
“Thanks for the line,” he says to Woods with a smile.
Before they leave the green, before they sign their cards or do any TV interviews, the two of them stand there and talk for a minute. Each gesturing with his hands, it appears they’re both counting and figuring something out — just like every other golfer does on the 18th green after a round.
“They’re settling up!” one fan yells to raucous approval from the gallery.
As the two of them walk off the green, another fan asks for the final tally.
“We just figured out,” says Mickelson. “With all the presses – and there were a lot of ‘em – we’re dead even for the day.”