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Golf previews

The Match: Tiger vs Phil Betting Preview

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Tuesday 20th November 2018

The Match: Tiger vs Phil Betting Preview

Event name: The Match: Tiger vs Phil

Location: Las Vegas

Event date: 22/11/2018

What is “The Match”?

Tiger Woods. Phil Mickelson. Two of the best to ever play the game of golf face off in this one-off head-to-head event. The winner of the 18-hole match-play event will pocket a cool $9million prize, in this winner-takes-all matchup. 

When is it?

The match will take place on Friday 23rd November 2018. For those of you in the United Kingdom, tee-off time will be at 8pm so it should make for excellent Friday evening viewing. 

The Venue 

A battle of this magnitude, needs a spectacular venue to match. Step forward Shadow Creek Golf Club. It is so fitting that this event is being held in Sin City, Las Vegas but it’s also necessary with the side action that will be take place. This course is a Par 72 that was designed by Tom Fazio and opened in 1990.

Prior to its 2008 renovation, the course was 7,239 Yards and both Woods and Freddie Couples shared the course record there (60). Since the $17m renovation, where it was stretched to 7,560 yards, Dustin Johnson and Lu Chien-Soon share the course record (66).

Holes such as the Par-3 17th, that plays anywhere between 130-150 yards, and features an island green and the 622-yard Par 5 will stand out in the coverage. Don’t be fooled by its Public Course tag. At $500 a green fee, this is an exclusive track, so you should expect this course to be in superb condition come Friday.

The rivalry and how “The Match” came about

The rivalry between the two players needs no introduction. Mickelson has never made it to World No.1, despite winning 43 times on the PGA Tour, including five majors. Why? Because Tiger Woods came along.

Back in 1991 Mickelson was the man of the moment. Still an amateur, he won the Northern Telecom Open on the PGA Tour, allowing him to forego any qualification schools, and until 1996 life was rosey. He is still the most recent amateur to win a PGA Tour event, with only six to do it in the history of the tour.

Winless in 1992, Mickelson found winning form again a year later. He recorded two victories in 93’, one in 94’, one in 95’ and FIVE (!!) in 96’. Mickelson however never emulated or even matched that five-win season he enjoyed in 1996, because of one man. August 19th 1996, the day Tiger Woods played his first event as a pro and the landscape of golf changed forever. 

Now, we had dominant figures in the game before Woods. Sam Snead still holds the record number of PGA Tour victories (82) and Jack Nicklaus still holds the record for the most majors (18) but Woods struck fear into the rest of the field like no other. If it weren’t for injuries plaguing his career, Woods would have surpassed 82 PGA Tour titles and would be at least pushing for 18 majors but he’s still shy of both of those records to this point.

For years it was Woods v Mickelson as the 1 and 2 in the world. They are still 1 and 2 in PGA Tour wins and major victories amongst active players, and they are STILL both winning PGA Tour tournaments. 

Whilst this sort of event between the two has seemingly been in the pipeline for quite some time, it was what appeared to be an off-the-cuff comment made at the Players Championship earlier this year that put the wheels in motion. When speaking in an interview at the Players Championship, Mickelson was quoted saying “'Why don't we just bypass all the ancillary stuff of a tournament and just go head to head and have kind of a high-stakes, winner-take-all match?” 

Woods responded by saying “Not against that,” , flashing a grin. “We’ll play for whatever makes him uncomfortable.”

The rest as they say, is history.

The format of “The Match”

The event will be 18 holes of straight up match play golf. Woods and Mickelson will be mic’d up and will make side bets during the round, such as “longest drive” to generate more money for charity.

Head to head record

Number of wins

Woods: 80 PGA Tour victories (91 total)

Mickelson: 43 PGA Tour victories (49 total)

Major wins

Woods: 14

Mickelson: 5

Record when paired together 

Woods: Won 18/37 meetings

Mickelson: Won 15/37 meetings

Ties: 4

Who is the favourite?

Given the stats and his recent win at the Tour Championship, where Mickelson finished dead-last, it is no surprise Woods is the 4/9 favourite in the matchup.  At 7/4, many may opt for Mickelson as they put history aside and notice he has the better record between the pair in recent years. Whatever happens, there will be a lot of interest in this match and you can your bottom dollar (literally) they’ll both be desperate to beat each other.

Prediction

Recommended Bet: Tiger Woods win at 4/9 with SkyBet - BET HERE

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