Woods' agent Mark Steinberg told ESPN that he expects the winner-take-all-match vs. Phil Mickelson to happen this year. 

By Daniel Rapaport
August 01, 2018

The ultra-high profile, winner-take-all match between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson is expected to take place later this year, according to Woods's agent Mark Steinberg. 

Speaking to ESPN ahead of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, a tournament Woods has won eight times, Steinberg said Woods's and Mickelson's camps are "closer than we have been" to finalizing details of the match, which was first reported by GOLF.com's Alan Shipnuck. Where and when the match, which was originally reported to be for $10 million, will take place remain unclear, but Steinberg conveyed that he expects it to take place before the end of the year. 

The match nearly took place on July 3 in Las Vegas, according to Shipnuck's original report, but the two sides could not finalize details in time. It will almost certainly be broadcasted on pay-per-view television, and Mickelson told Shipnuck that both players would be willing to wear microphones during play. 

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 did so again on Wednesday before the Bridgesteone. Both have spoken about softening toward each other as they advance deep into the home stretches of their respective careers.

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—Mickelson picked up his first PGA Tour win in five years at the WGC-Mexico Championship while Woods has posted six top-12 finishes in 12 official starts after missing more than a year to recover from spinal fusion surgery.

Mickelson is currently 10th in the Ryder Cup standings, while Woods is 20th, but both players are widely expected to be captain's picks should they fail to crack the top 8 automatic qualifying spots. With the PGA next week and the FedEx Cup playoffs after that, then the Ryder Cup in the end of September, the match would have to take place in either October, November or December if it is to happen in 2018. 

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