Two of golf’s most iconic stars faced off on Black Friday as longtime rivals Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson met in an experimental, winner-take-all match for $9 million.
Dubbed “The Match,” the 18-hole exhibition began at 3 p.m. ET on MGM Resorts International’s Shadow Creek Golf Course in Las Vegas, Nevada. The winner will earn the entire $9 million prize, while the loser will go home empty-handed.
The pair will also stage various bets during the match, wagering on who can hit the longest drive or hit a specific shot closest to the pin, with proceeds going to charity. The two golfers told reporters Tuesday that they already have a $200,000 wager on whether Mickelson will birdie the first hole.
"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, according to ESPN. "It's great to win the $9 million, but I just don't want to lose to him. The bragging rights are the thing.”
The match marks the first time ever that golf has made use of a pay-per-view model – a format traditionally reserved for combat sports like boxing or mixed martial arts – to broadcast an event. The exhibition costs $19.99 to view on Bleacher Report Live, DirecTV or various cable providers.
The event will last roughly four hours and be presented commercial free, according to Bleacher Report. Capital One will serve as presenting sponsor.
Woods, 42, came back from several injuries and personal issues to win the PGA Tour Championship last September. He is a 14-time major champion. Mickelson, 48, is a five-time major champion.