Woods, Mickelson announce details of Thanksgiving winner-take-all match
August 23, 2018 8:54 AM
by Robert Mann
Golfers Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson Wednesday afternoon formally announced some details related to their much-anticipated winner-take-all match Thanksgiving weekend at Shadow Creek Golf Course in North Las Vegas.
Turner Sports will produce the pay-per-view telecast of the event, in which $9 million goes to the winner. The match will be contested Friday, Nov. 23.
The Westgate Superbook was among the first to post odds for the match with Woods opening at minus 180 to win the overall event and Mickelson at plus 150. Woods game has improved significantly in recent weeks including a runner-up finish in the PGA Championship two weeks ago. Mickelson, after a string of solid finishes earlier this year, has seen his game falter in the last several months.
For bettors and fans, numerous unknowns remain including the cost of purchasing the telecast, the tee off time and whether fans can purchase tickets for the showdown or if accessibility for spectators would be limited.
"It's an opportunity for us to bring golf to the masses in prime time during a period where we don't have much going on in the world of golf," Mickelson said Wednesday after his pro-am round at Ridgewood Country Club in New Jersey, ahead of Thursday's Northern Trust Open.
Mickelson said the format would be match play, but details regarding various “in-play” challenges during the match, such as longest drive, closest to the hole, longest putt and closest out of a bunker are also yet to be worked out.
The winner-take-all format was also generally addressed by Mickelson saying, "I think if you [don't] do that, it undermines it. The whole point is the winner-take-all thing. That's the exciting part about it."
Woods has yet to comment on the event other than some brief general comments on Twitter.
The prospect of “in-play” betting on the event could prove to be a bonanza for bettors and bookmakers worldwide. However, what arrangements need to be made to access official data (such as the distance of a particular drive or the length of a putt), who would provide it and would bookmakers pay a fee for it remains problematical, sports betting observers say.
They additionally note that if the event is advertised as “winner-take-all” but proves not to be, could promoters be subject to charges of false advertising?