Cutting edge of crass? – Is Tiger v Phil the future of TV golf?

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When golfers think they are boxers: Mickelson and Woods are confronted

The Match: Woods v MickelsonVenue: Shadow Creek, Las Vegas Dates: 23 NovemberCoverage: live text commentary on the BBC Sport website

An entertaining confrontation between two of the all-time greats of the game to complete a score that has been rolled over for more than two decades?

Or just a squatting money generator for two aging millionaires who are desperately looking for attention?

Opinion is divided between & # 39; The Match & # 39; between Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods in Las Vegas on Friday, a $ 9m (£ 7m) winner-takes-all showdown that is streamed on pay-per-view in the United States during Thanksgiving weekend.

One thing that everyone can agree on in the good and bad times, golf has never been something like that before.

No onlookers will be allowed on the track, which means that the only way to look in the US is to pay the $ 19.99 (£ 15.50) fee for commercial-free coverage at television.

a candid insight into what the microphone-bearing players and their caddies say between shots, while bets are shown on the screen to entice them into bets.

Real-time, hole-by-hole statistics, which show the probability of different outcomes, will help them make their choices.

Other gimmicks include drones that offer camera angles that have never been seen before & # 39; in live wave reporting, according to the organizers, and a one-hour pre-event program with NBA legend Charles Barkley and Hollywood actor Samuel L Jackson.

"This is me in front of him, this winner takes everything and it has a unique, special feeling that golf has not been all the time, or rarely ever, or ever," Mickelson said.

"I am hopeful that this has been well received, I am hopeful that we will look into the future of what sport-watching is all about."

Woods and Mickelson are the two most successful players of their generation

All about the cash?

Woods and Mickelson, who resigned at Shadow Creek on Friday at 20:00 GMT, were depicted behind piles of cash – reportedly the money the victor takes home.

But the image of the American couple, which is one of the richest golfers in history, drew some criticism.

Despite being outside the top of the world 10 and winning a few tournaments, Woods and Mickelson earned more money last year than all other golfers – $ 43.3m (£ 33.6m) respectively and $ 41.3m (£ 32.1m) – according to Sports Finance experts Forbes.

BBC golf correspondent Iain Carter was not impressed by the photo of Woods and Mickelson behind piles of money

Money, not surprising, is an important theme of an event held in the American gambling capital.

During the round Mickelson and Woods challenge each other with side bets – for example the closest to the pin or the longest ride – with the money said to the charity.

The bravado began at the Tuesday press conference when Mickelson bet a $ 100,000 (£ 77,600) that Woods would not bombard the first hole. Woods told him to double it to $ 200,000 (£ 155,200).

If that money indeed comes out of the pockets of the players – or sponsors – the rest of the pot is paid by the viewers

Mickelson says that the viewing audience gets the opportunity to "fantasy wave" to play and believe that it allows them to participate in live, real-time bets that only generate interest in the sport.

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan admitted in April that "there are commercial opportunities" for the professional organization in the expansion of legalized sports betting in the United States.

Fifteen years late?

19 majors between them and two decades at the top, Woods and Mickelson are two of the most recognizable golfers on the planet.

Fighting for the biggest prizes of the game and the number one rankings, plus a freezing cold in their relationship that has since thawed, created a lasting riva between 1945 and 2000

In recent years their strength has decreased, the 42-year-old Woods has not contributed to his 14 majors since 2008 after personal and injury problems and 48-year-old Mickelson has not queued up. past five years.

Both, however, have shown a glimpse of the retaking of their form by claiming PGA Tour victories this year and, in the case of Tiger, threatening the Open Championship and the American PGA Championship.

it does not seem to have conquered the imagination of the younger generation of leading players.

"Look, if they had done it 15 years ago, it would have been great," said Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland. "But nowadays it has missed a bit." 19459002

World number four Justin Thomas, an American Ryder Cup teammate from Woods and Mickelson, indicated last month that he would not pay a $ 19.99 subscription to view.

"Love TW and Phil to death, but there's a zero percent chance that I'll order that", Thomas tweeted. "I will watch football!"

Jon Rahm from Spain, placed eighth, said he thought the match was "10 years late".

"Maybe it was great when they were both at their peak," he said.


English golfer Eddie Pepperell expressed his worries in a tweet with an explicit word …

Anyone who is in favor of an exhibit wave?

Although there are many different voices, only a few high-profile players have publicly supported the event.

When the Mickelson against Woods match was confirmed earlier this year, former Masters winner Adam Scott said he was open to more exhibition golf that was being played and welcomed the prospect of an 18-hole match against fellow Australian Jason Day.

"I think it would all be fun," Scott said. "I would like to think there is room for an exhibition golf, it is something that the tour down there might have to try to do."

It is suspected that future plans will depend on the number of people involved in – and more importantly, spend money on – Friday's game between Mickelson and Woods.

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