Two months ago at the Players Championship, where Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson were paired together for the first two rounds, Mickelson suggested he and his rival-turned-friend Woods skip the tournament stuff and play a "high-stakes, winner-take-all match."
It would appear that the two players are ready to put their money where their mouths are, as a report from Golf.com's Alan Shipnuck suggests the two legends are planning a head-to-head match for $10 million.
In fact, the match is so close to being a reality that it almost happened on July 3 in Las Vegas. "We're working on a different date," Mickelson told Shipnuck. "I thought it was done for the 3rd but obviously it wasn't." Tiger's reps, true to form, declined to comment.
Mickelson also said that both players would be willing to wear microphones to enhance the spectacle of the made-for-TV matchup.
Woods and Mickelson have warmed up to each other after years and years of, to put it kindly, a respectful distaste for one another. The two players, who have combined to win 19 majors and spent years perched atop the world rankings, played a practice round before the Masters and have both spoken about softening toward each other as they advance deep into the home stretches of their respective careers. Shipnuck's story details their mutual warming-up process, which he says began at the 2014 Ryder Cup.
Still, the budding friendship hasn't stopped either man from taking good-natured jabs at the other, jokes that in hindsight might have been made with this match in mind. Back at the Players, after he proposed the match, Mickelson wondered whether Woods "wants a piece of me." To that, Tiger repsonded, "First of all...big picture. How many times have we both won on Tour?" Woods, for the record, has 79 PGA Tour victories to Mickelson's 43.
"We'll play for whatever makes him comfortable," Woods, whose net worth is estimated to be in excess $740 million, also said.
Both players have had resurgent seasons, as Mickelson picked up his first win since the 2013 British Open at the WGC-Mexico Championship in February. Woods, who did not play at all in 2017 as he recovered from spinal fusion surgery, has five top-12 finishes in 11 starts and is all the way up to No. 67 in the Official World Golf Ranking.