Sure, Tiger Woods vs. Phil Mickelson is fake sports, but it’s must-see

Phil Mickelson, left, and Tiger Woods are planning a head-to-head $10 million winner-take-all match at what Mickelson says is a date being worked on. (Associated Press)
Phil Mickelson, left, and Tiger Woods are planning a head-to-head $10 million winner-take-all match at what Mickelson says is a date being worked on. (Associated Press)
Published July 8 2018
Updated July 8 2018

First, let's get the ground rules out of the way.

The champions dinner will be held at Perkins.

And under no circumstance may a player strike more than one (1) still-rolling putt per 18 holes.

And one more thing:

I'll watch.

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Tiger versus Lefty, $10 million, winner take all, loser rakes the sand traps.

That's the proposal, and despite that it comes about 10 years too late — when Tiger Woods was astride the golf world and Phil Mickelson wasn't so bad himself — it still works for me.

Put it this way: Their in-the-works Las Vegas showdown, two legends head-to-head, beats the heck out of the John Deere Classic. Hey, you watch Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka.

Yes, it's fake sports.

Yes, it's contrived.

And, no, it isn't their $10 million.

Both these men are worth hundreds of millions of dollars. The loser of this wacky event will not have to choose between paying the electric or cable next month.

Also: I'll watch.

It says something about golf that for all its talk about next big things and youth, it still will fall back on its reliable, ancient and even fallen stars. It's not alone among sports.

But no sport looks more ageless than golf. Why do old guys still make gobs of money playing on the senior tour? I'd still pay to watch Jack Nicklaus knock it around. Star power matters, which brings us back to Tiger and Lefty.

Clearly, Mickelson has more to gain in the matchup, especially after his clown act at this year's U.S. Open, his childish run-and-swipe at his runaway putt. Plus, Woods leads in majors (14-5) and wins (79-43).

But it's not as if Woods wouldn't benefit, too. Think he couldn't use some positive public relations?

Woods and Mickelson have been paired pitifully few times during their careers. Jack and Arnie used to throw down all the time at majors.

And this would answer all those what-ifs.

We all have them. I know I do.

Like, how would Babe Ruth have hit against Sandy Koufax?

What about LeBron versus Jordan, one-on-one?

Or Secretariat versus Seabiscuit?

Try to tell me you wouldn't watch a Tiger-Lefty desert duel. Woods' long game against Mickelson's short game. Both with galleries to back them up.

I still wish Woods and Mickelson were the ones putting up the $10 million.

And maybe they should be allowed one stroke a round to knock the other guy's putt away from the hole.

Maybe not.

Too much circus.

This will be enough of one as it is.

And there's this:

I'll watch.

Contact Martin Fennelly at [email protected] Follow @mjfennelly.

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