Tiger Woods vs. Phil Mickelson Match: Rules, Scoring & Format

phil mickelson tiger woods

Getty Phil Mickelson squares off with Tiger Woods in Las Vegas.

Tiger Woods takes on Phil Mickelson in a Black Friday golf showdown, but the rules may be a bit different than you expect. Rather than traditional strokes scoring, each golfer will be awarded a point for the holes where they have the lowest score. Points will only be awarded on holes where a golfer has a lower score.

Instead of the lowest overall score using strokes, the winning golfer will be the one with the most points. The format more closely resembles segments of the Ryder Cup rather than a PGA Tour event. Here is how Bleacher Report describes the scoring format for Tiger vs. Phil.

Tiger and Phil will play an 18-hole match play event, in which players earn a point per hole where they bested their opponent. Unlike stroke play, the total score does not matter, rather the number of holes where a player scores lower than his opponent. For example, if Tiger scores a 4 on the first hole and Phil scores a 3, Phil would be “1 up”. If Tiger wins the next hole, it returns to “all square”.


Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson Will Earn a Point for Each Hole They Win

The winning golfer will earn a $9 million purse. Tiger vs. Phil takes place at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas, but it will not be open to fans like a normal tournament. The golfers are also allowed to make side bets, but the money will go to charity as Bleacher Report explains.

During the live event competition, both Tiger and Phil will selectively make side challenges against one another. For instance, they could raise the stakes by challenging the other to a long drive, closest-to-the-pin or similar competition during a hole as they play their match, with money being donated to the winning golfer’s charity of choice.

Turner Sports chief content officer Craig Barry believes there is an appeal to Tiger vs. Phil for both casual sports fans as well as golf enthusiasts.

“I wanted us to be as fresh as possible,” Barry explained to Sports Illustrated. “There are very few times in your career when you get to build something from scratch…I feel strongly that we have an obligation to both the hardcore fan and the casual fan. The casual fan needs to be entertained and the golf commentary needs to be good at the core. We will be calling the match as a sanctioned PGA tour event, as we’d call any golf event. We’ll have that credibility to go along with the entertainment value.”

Mickeslson spoke about trying to chase down Woods over his career and how it compares to this match.

“He came along and broke every single record I had,” Mickelson told ESPN. “Junior records, college, U.S. amateur: I won one, he won three. At Shadow Creek, I shot the course-record 61. A couple of years later, you shoot 60. But Friday you’ve got to do it simultaneously. You can’t come along and do it later. It’s my chance after losing so many tournaments to you, so many majors, to get something back.”

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