"The Match"

"the Match"

Tiger vs. Phil, a match up that golf fans have been begging for… for decades. The two have been on top of the golfing world for more than 20 years now, but the rivalry between the two has subsided in recent years as they both grow older and inch closer to retirement. Nevertheless, many golf fans are very excited for the match up as two of golf’s greatest players get together in what should be a fun day of golf and giving back to charity. The match is taking place the day after Thanksgiving, November 23rd, with coverage starting at 2 PM EST and the pair teeing off at 3 PM EST. 

Tiger and Phil have had a tumultuous relationship over the years, as Tiger overtook Phil as golf’s brightest star in the late 1990s to become not only golf’s — but the world’s — biggest athlete. There have been several backhanded comments over the years from both athletes as there was no lost love between the two. In the 2004 Ryder Cup, the two were paired together and unsurprisingly went 0-2 together. They both looked miserable while doing so. The pair have not played together since that Ryder Cup, but it will be interesting if a future captain pairs them together with their budding friendship apparent.

The match is going to take place at Shadow Creek, which is a pristine 7,560-yard course with a par 72. No one knows if they are going to play at the tips, but chances are they are going to put the tees up so both players have more chances at birdies. Tiger co-owned the course record at Shadow Creek before they revamped the course in 2008 with a 60, so he knows that he can go low at the course. Neither golfer has the advantage when it comes to length as they both hit the ball a similar distance. 

Tiger is a more accurate striker of the ball, so the course will lend him some advantages there, as there are a few tight holes on the course. Phil has an incredible short game and Tiger’s short game has looked rusty at times this season, so Phil should have the advantage there. Tiger has always been the better putter, so expect him to make a few putts to turn the match in his favor. The match is being sponsored by Capital One and there is $9 million up for grabs — as well as a host of side bets, such as closest to the pin and longest drive. The side bets will make the viewing experience a lot more interesting and entertaining. Hopefully, Tiger and Phil will have fun with the side bets and come up with some diverse bets besides the ones that you can expect at any four person scramble tournament. All of the money betted is expected to be donated to charity at the end of the day.

The Phil vs Tiger match is the first golf event in history that is Pay-Per-View. The matchup will cost $20 if you want to watch and is available on TBS. You can purchase it right through your cable subscriber or the Turner Sports’ B/R Live App that you can download on most smart devices. Many fans and experts will be watching to see if the match is a success.  If it is, then you can bet there will be more sports games and events that are PPV.

Sadly, PPV is the only way that you can watch the match as there were no tickets up for grabs — unless you are somehow buddies with Tiger or Phil. Many fans were disappointed to learn that there would be no tickets made available, as the match could be a lot more exciting if fans were allowed to attend.

Tiger and Phil also had their own version of a weigh-in, where they attempted to stare each other down. It resulted in a hilarious failure as both golfers broke out in laughter. They spoke about the match and all of the different aspects of it. It was good to see both golfers speak about the game and how they were excited to battle it out for the $9 million prize. Expect both golfers to give it their all and hold nothing back in this once-in-a-lifetime matchup. One thing that we should all remember is that it is never too late to repair a relationship or embrace the friends and enemies around us. Phil and Tiger are a stunning example of no matter how frigid a relationship is, there is always room for growth and warmth. We should all keep that in mind this holiday season as we spend time with family, friends, and loved ones.

By Robert Charles Hanes

Freelance Golf Blogger

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