Sobel: Live Updates from Tiger and Phil’s $9 Million Match
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports.
- Jason Sobel covers Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson's $9 million match live from Shadow Creek Golf Course in Las Vegas, Nev.
LAS VEGAS — “The Match” is here. Finally.
Follow along below as I update all of the happenings from Shadow Creek Golf Course, where Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are playing for $9 million.
(All times local in Las Vegas.)
Be sure to refresh the page to see the latest entries.
4:57 p.m.: And finally, it’s all over.
After Tiger just barely misses his birdie putt, Phil knocks in a 4-footer for the win — and the $9 million prize.
Fun day. Lots of really good things about this. Some that need fixing. I’ll have a column tonight on all the pros and cons.
Thanks for following along with the Live Blog all day. Until next time, hit ’em straight..
4:53 p.m.: Hey, they might’ve figured this thing out.
Two really good tee shots on the 22nd hole. Couple of birdie putts coming up.
4:50 p.m.: Phil burns the edge with his birdie attempt, then GIVES THE 6-FOOTER TO TIGER.
Seriously. He just did that. The match continues.
4:46 p.m.: Advantage: Phil.
Tiger again flies the green. Phil has another makeable putt for birdie.
4:42 p.m.: Andddd … Tiger chips it close, Phil putts it close, and we’re going back to the practice green for the 21st hole.
This is Vegas. Always stop on 21.
4:39 p.m.: From 93 yards, Tiger flies the green and actually hits a spectator. (Only Tiger could hit a spectator on a course where there’s no spectators.)
Phil finds the green, but still has about 20 feet for birdie.
This could turn into a Groundhog Day situation pretty soon…
4:31 p.m.: Tiger with an 8-foot putt to win $9 million. He never misses these.
Except… he just did.
And we go to the 20th hole, just as soon as they build it.
Whoa. What a crazy way to end this thing.
4:27 p.m.: Tiger lays up with his second shot into the playoff hole, then stiffs his third.
Meanwhile, Phil has a fried-egg lie in the bunker, then splashes out, but he’ll have 30 feet for birdie.
4:16 p.m.: All-square through 18. Lots of bets yet to be cashed.
They’ll play the par-5 closer once again.
If it’s still tied after that? A makeshift 95-yard hole from the practice green — keep playing it until someone wins.
4:09 p.m.: Phil about 25 feet short for eagle. Tiger over the back. Starting to smell like a playoff out here.
3:58 p.m.: Don’t care how much money you’ve got stashed away. Playing one risk-reward par-5 for a $9 million payday will get the adrenaline flowing a bit.
3:55 p.m.: First fist-pump of the day!
Tiger knocks in a birdie from off the back of the green, then Phil misses his birdie attempt from much closer.
We’re all-square going to the final hole.
3:48 p.m.: If I’d told you earlier today that the match would never be more than a 1-up lead, you’d have assumed it was really good.
Close? Yes. Good? Ummm… no.
3:44 p.m.: Getting messy here on 16. If they bring these short games to Augusta next April, they’ll be heading home by Friday evening.
3:30 p.m.: Of the four holes Phil has won, three of ’em were pars. He now leads 1-up, with three to play.
Some uncharacteristic poor mistakes from Tiger. Could ultimately cost him the match.
3:23 p.m.: If Tiger and Phil’s games are off, their banter has been even worse.
Phil’s rationale for making this a PPV telecast made perfect sense: They wanted to give people a behind-the-scenes, inside-the-ropes view that they don’t see during normal PGA Tour events — and that couldn’t happen with endless commercials.
What they’ve given us, though, has been PG-rated and forced.
It’s less trash-talk than random conversation every few holes.
3:16 p.m.: Phil with a 12-foot putt … which would be the longest putt of the day … for either player … and he misses. Then Tiger misses.
Next challenge should be a phone-a-friend to someone who can putt.
3:11 p.m.: (And yes, I know the entire match is for $9 million and it’s currently all-square. It’s a joke, people. Keep up.)
3:10 p.m.: Pro tip: If you’re playing a long drive hole for big money and the first guy finds the bunker, you don’t need to be thinking immortality. You need to be thinking, hit the 7-iron!
3:03 p.m.: All of a sudden… this match is getting pretty, pretty, pretty good.
Phil wins the 13th with a birdie.
All-square again. This is what they needed. Ending on 14 wouldn’t be a great look.
2:54 p.m.: Tiger has hardly played great today — but just birdied the 12th to grab the lead for the first time.
2:49 p.m.: After a mammoth drive, Tiger sticks a wedge tight on 12. Unless Phil pulls off something special, Tiger could be looking at his first lead of the day.
2:41 p.m.: Tiger makes birdie after a nice flop shot, and Phil can’t capitalize on the short par-4.
That’s the second hole won for Tiger. Match moves back to all-square with seven to play.
2:38 p.m.: I’d watch an entire 18-hole match of nothing but driveable par-4s.
2:26 p.m.: Walking the 10th hole with Amy Mickelson and she just offered up a great anecdote.
Phil has been practicing in Vegas all week. Yesterday, in addition to it being Thanksgiving, it was Amy’s grandmother’s 90th birthday.
The whole family traveled to Utah to surprise her, but Amy told Phil to not worry about it and keep practicing for the match.
Well, he didn’t listen.
Phil surprised Amy’s grandmother — and his own family — by showing up to have dinner with them last night in Utah
2:13 p.m.: Ninth hole halved with pars.
Phil leads 1-up at the turn.
Can’t wait ’til Barkley jumps in here and makes it a three-man match.
2:11 p.m.: Charles Barkley: “I could beat these two guys today…”
I really, really, really, really hope he’s gonna put his money where his mouth is.
2:08 p.m.: Raise your hand if you’ve never holed out for a million-dollar side bet…
Tiger and Phil are just like us.
Neither comes close to the challenge on 9. Fun bet. Carry on, nothing to see here.
2:05 p.m.: How big did you think the biggest side bet would be?
Well, we’re now into the seven figures.
Granted, it’s a longshot bet, but there’s a million bucks on the line if either player can hole out for eagle on the par-4 ninth hole, with a tasty pin position today.
1:59 p.m.: Tiger three-putts, Phil two-putts and the latter moves to 1-up once again.
Phil has also clinches at least a halve on the front, in case you were keeping an eye on that prop.
1:57 p.m.: Tiger gets 3-to-2 odds on making a 40-foot putt. Considering no PGA Tour player made more than 10 percent of putts outside 25 feet last season, he probably should’ve argued for a better number.
(Oh, and he missed.)
1:50 p.m.: Another side bet: Closest to the pin on 8 for $200K.
Tiger hits it to 40 feet. Phil finds the same slope and it rolls back, but stays just inside Tiger’s ball.
Phil takes another $200K challenge.
1:47 p.m.: Tiger lags a long eagle putt for birdie at 7, then wins the hole when Phil can’t hole-out from the bunker.
If you’re sweating that O/U 11.5 birdies prop from our contest, they’re now at three with 11 regulation holes (at most) left to play.
1:43 p.m.: If you assumed Phil never turns down a bet, you assumed wrong.
Tiger tries to offer lowest score on the seventh holes after their drives, with his way ahead of Phil’s.
Phil asks for 3-to-2 odds. Tiger won’t budge.
1:31 p.m.: Sixth hole halved with pars.
I smell a recurring theme.
1:29 p.m.: Tough balance for Tiger and Phil, not sure they’ve found it yet. If they spend the whole time chit-chatting and giggling, it feels they don’t care enough. If they grind over shots and treat it like any other competitive round, it feels like they aren’t being entertaining enough.
1:17 p.m.: Fifth hole halved with pars.
No blood — you know, other than that $100K that Phil won.
1:10 p.m.: Phil just barely flies it over the hole on 5, even giving it a Hal Sutton “be the right one today” call.
But it’s closer than Tiger’s — which means $100K to Phil’s charity from the side bet.
1:07 p.m.: We’ve got a $100K closest-to-the-pin side bet on No. 5.
Shadow Creek GM Monte Montgomery told me earlier this week: “Easy pin placement, and shots will funnel from the left to the right. You might even see a hole-in-one. I saw one sportsbook had 100-to-1 for a hole-in-one. This is the one they’re going to be sweating out.”
This could be fun…
1:05 p.m.: Birdie putts inside 3 feet.
Phil: “Yours is good by me.”
Tiger, a full minute later: “Pick it up.”
1:03 p.m.: Tiger stiffs his third shot into the par-5 fourth.
Tells caddie Joe LaCava: “I’ve gotta get the tee.”
12:53 p.m.: There was a “longest drive” prop for the par-5 fourth hole.
Caveat: Player has to hit the fairway.
Phil finds the short grass and Tiger misses to the right.
Easy win for Phil bettors.
Don’t even have to walk off the yardages.
12:50 p.m.: Third hole is halved with pars. Not exactly seeing any fireworks yet.
12:47 p.m.: For those wondering why there hasn’t been more side action yet, I’d heard a few weeks ago that the PGA Tour was limiting those bets to two per side. Then again, I also heard: “What’re they gonna do if they decided to make more than that?”
12:40 p.m.: Tiger’s par miss was from 3 feet, 7 inches.
Last season, he made 810 of 840 attempts inside 5 feet (96.43 percent).
12:37 p.m.: Phil makes Tiger putt the shorty. Tiger hits it, walks after it… and lips it out.
First blood for Phil, which is a nice payout. Didn’t think it was coming with Tiger missing a two-footer.
12:33 p.m.: Both players miss the second green.
That’s a pretty accessible pin. Not great attempts with the approaches.
12:27 p.m.: They’re showing way too much Tiger and Phil in this broadcast.
Haven’t even seen any shots from the leaders.
12:23 p.m.: Tiger misses, but the big news here is that Phil leaves his birdie attempt on the high side. That’ll be $200K to Tiger’s foundation.
In his snarkiest, Tiger calls out, “Good speed!”
12:20 p.m.: So… Phil has 9 feet, 1 inch for birdie on the first — and an extra $200K to charity in the first side bet of the day.
12:17 p.m.: The problem with mic’ing up players while they’re playing is that they know they’re mic’d up and are conscious of it the entire time.
12:14 p.m.: Phil hits the first fairway. Tiger misses.
You know this is a real event now, because Tiger always misses the first fairway.
12:12 p.m.: Samuel L. Jackson with the longest introductions since Phil cut off the woman who listed all of Tiger’s accomplishments at East Lake.
12:08 p.m.: This is all fun and games until Mark Russell starts assessing penalty strokes for not teeing off on time.
12:02 p.m.: Whatever “time of match” prop you could find entering today, hope you hammered the over.
It’s a few minutes past high noon and we’re still watching interviews and the video tease on the telecast.
Throw in all those bets, which they’ll presumably slow play to let the public play along, and I think it’ll take two guys perhaps north of four hours to play a round today.
11:54 a.m.: After years of talking about this, it’s finally upon us.
That’s right — the triumphant return of the Live Blog.
(Oh, and Tiger and Phil are gonna play some golf, too)
Excited to go old-school with this idea. For those who don’t remember the Live Blog, we had a fan club (the LBC), t-shirts and a lot of “reps.”
Well, we’re back — and the gambling action for today’s match should make it even more fun. Follow along here as I’ll update throughout the afternoon.