By Annalece Montgomery
Last Saturday, Phil Mickelson tee’d off against Tiger Woods for “The Match” in Las Vegas, NV, and there was plenty of drama. When the two marched up to the 22nd hole, the two were tied after 18 regulation holes and three playoff pars. Mickelson knocked in a 5-foot birdie to secure the prize, beating one of “the greatest of all time,” a description he affectionately used for his opponent.
There were plenty of complaints about the match, most of them downright silly. The most prevalent seemed to be that the amount of money on the line was obscene. We get it, $9 million is a LOT of money for a single round of golf. However, it wasn’t Phil and Tiger forcing the hand of any of the sponsors to put up the money for the winner. And for those complaining that the money “doesn’t mean anything” to the golfers, come on guys, you can’t have it both ways. One thing people couldn’t really complain about? The cost.
Unfortunately for television providers, but pretty great for golf fans, there was a technical glitch that allowed fans to stream the match – that was intended to be Pay Per View – for free. Following reports of the issue, most of the broadcast carriers have agreed to refund those who paid $19.99 to stream the match at Shadow Creek – no word from Cablevision and Verizon just yet.
This was the first head-to-head golf match to hit Pay-Per-View, and anyone would consider the prize truly fantastic for four hours of work. We’re curious to how the fans would react to future televised rounds like this for golf? With the competition being so neck-and-neck throughout the afternoon, we think they would welcome more of these. We think the fans may also appreciate watching more of these head-to-head matches, as opposed to the Masters, which hosts 90-100 golfers. The close competition certainly lends itself to unique opportunities for a captivating storyline, and a chance for fans to “pick their team,” so to speak.