It took a while to get there but The Match between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson finally lived up to the hype.
On the 22nd hole — a makeshift par-3 that Shadow Creek guests use to settle bets — Phil Mickelson flipped a wedge to four feet and holed the ensuing birdie putt for the win and a cool $9 million.
Mickelson was more than familiar with the tee shot: He and Woods played the hole three times before a winner could be decided.
The see-saw match, in which neither player exhibited anything close to his best form, took nearly five hours to complete and finished in near darkness. Charles Barkley, commentating for the pay-per-view telecast, called Woods and Mickelson’s play “crappy.”
On the 18th hole, after Woods holed a five-footer for birdie, Mickelson was left with a nervy three-footer to extend the match. In a chivalrous move that you would never have seen from Woods in his world-dominating prime, he conceded the putt.
“Let’s go play,” he told Mickelson.
Woods and Mickelson played the par-5 18th as their first extra hole. They halved that with pars and then moved to the pitch-and-putt “20th hole,” as its known, where Mickelson eventually emerged victorious.
The players made prop bets throughout the match with those proceeds going to charity.
The first side bet was made during Tuesday’s press conference when Phil bet Tiger $100,000 that he would birdie the first hole. Instead, Tiger challenged Lefty to double the bet and raise it to $200,000.
Mickelson lost that bet when his birdie try from eight feet slid by the hole.