The 48-year-old left-hander from San Diego won the jackpot Friday in Las Vegas, Nevada: $ 9 million. He beat his best "enemy", Tiger Woods, in a duel dubbed "The Match" which, as widely anticipated, did not skip the heights of golf.
Despite winning five Grand Slam titles and earning $ 88 million in prize money on the professional golf circuit, Phil Mickelson was shaking like a leaf, by his own admission, when hitting a one-meter putt Thirty for victory, synonymous with jackpot. As the night began to fall on the course of Shadow Creek, in the heart of the world capital of gambling and casinos, the southpaw has pocketed nine million dollars. Never seen for an exhibition match. He had to wait for the fourth hole of playoff to overcome the Tiger and cut several times his disappointment to miss the victory.
A bet worth $ 200,000
In this event played in the form of a match-play duel, Mickelson, 48, took the best start and led from the second hole, but never managed to distance his illustrious opponent. The former world No. 1, soon 43 years old, who had the favor of the 700 spectators and invited VIPs after his thundering return to the fore in 2018 (victory at the TOUR Championship, the final playoffs of the FedEx Cup) after four previous seasons disastrous, was briefly in the lead in hole 12, chaining two birdies in a row, but Mickelson took the lead in 15. Back to the wall, Woods nevertheless returned to Mickelson's level with a putt over seven meters to the 17th, rare blow of glamor of a disappointing day in terms of spectacle. Even the promise of the confidences, discussions and provocations captured by microphones placed on the two golfers, was disappointing. Except for Woods' mockery after Mickelson's failure to bet $ 200,000 that he would close the first hole with a birdie – "It hurts the wallet" – or the admission that their respective children do not did not find "cool", nothing very interesting, especially as the two players, fierce competitors, were less and less willing to approach the denouement.
A caustic Charles Barkley
It was not until former NBA player, Charles Barkley, converted TV consultant on a channel of the group Turner, organizer of the event, to smile by pretending, given the level of play of Woods and Mickelson, that even him, though known to be a poor golfer, could beat them. Another snub to the organizers, the platform for the payment of 19.99 dollars asked to viewers, soon encountered technical problems, forcing Turner to broadcast the event for free . "The Match", criticized by some players who regretted that it was too late to decide between two emblematic players of the 2000s, has not revolutionized golf and will not question his hierarchy. "Tiger remains the greatest golfer of all time, but it will be good to be able to remind him that I beat him, "smiled Mickelson. During their duel, Woods and Mickelson also challenged by betting for example a million dollars for the one who would succeed an eagle on the hole n ° 9. Neither won this bet, but they raised $ 800,000 with other challenges that they will devote to their respective foundations.