The stakes just keep getting higher for Friday’s showdown between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.
Woods and Mickelson will hit the links for a $9 million winner-take-all match at Shadow Creek Golf Course in Las Vegas, but that won’t be the only money that exchanges hands. The two superstar golfers already agreed to a $200,000 side bet Tuesday during a press conference to promote the pay-per-view event.
“I feel like the first hole is a great hole for me,” Mickelson said. “And I believe — in fact I’m willing to risk $100,000 that says I birdie the first hole. So that’s how good I feel heading into this match.”
Woods didn’t just accept Mickelson’s wager. He responded, “Double it,” meaning an extra $200,000 will hang in the balance when the golfers approach the first hole — a 415-yard Par 4.
Woods and Mickelson have long been two of the biggest stars in golf. Their rivalry isn’t quite as intense as it once was, but there undoubtedly will be some bragging rights on the line.
“This is a unique opportunity to do something that I’ve had a hard time doing, which is to get a leg up on Tiger even if it’s just one day,” Mickelson said Tuesday. “It’s great to win the $9 million, but I just don’t want to lose to him. The bragging rights are the thing. I want to be able to rub it in. I don’t want it to be rubbed in. I want to sit in the champions locker room at Augusta and talk smack.”
Of course, $9 million is a boatload of cash, although both golfers figure to profit in some way from Friday’s unique event. The side bets — and there could be more — are supposed to be from each player’s own funds, with those proceeds going to charity, according to ESPN.
Thumbnail photo via Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports Images