Even the players are split on whether to watch Tiger-V-Phil

Bernie McGuire

The Irish trio of Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Seamus Power (among many others questioned) are split in their views whether they will tune-in later today to the Tiger Woods -v- Phil Mickelson showdown in Nevada. 

In contrast, it is victorious European Ryder Cup Captain, Thomas Bjorn who seems to mirror the view of most of the world’s best golfers who are not interested to watching he high-stakes, winner-takes-all showdown.

The  $US9m (Euro 7.8m) match takes place Friday 12 noon local Nevada time (8pm Irish time) and is being screened only for those willing to fork out $US 19.99 on a pay-for-view basis though SKY Sports subscription will get to watch it.


“The Match”, as it is being promoted, will be played on the Shadow Creek Golf Club but no members of the public will be allowed onto the course and just a handful of VIP guests and accredited PGA Tour media have been afforded invitations to the event.

But then McIlroy, McDowell along with Bjorn, former World No. 1 Dustin Johnson, triple Major winning, Brooks Koepka and new DP World Tour champion, Danny Willett who picked-up a cool £1.1m prize for his emotional Dubai win last Sunday, won’t be paying to watch.

In fact, Johnson and Koepka will be attending the wedding of Johnson’s younger brother and caddy, Austin is getting married Friday.


Rory McIlroy:

“I was speaking with Phil and said, ‘Oh, I might pay to watch it,’ and (Mickelson) took $25 out of his pocket,” McIlroy said, laughing. “He said, ‘No, here’s $25. I’ll pay for it for you, thank you.’(smiling)

“Look, if they had a done it 15 years ago it would have been great,” he said, “but nowadays, it’s missed the mark a little bit.”

Thomas Bjorn:

“I don’t know and I don’t care.  And would I pay to watch Tiger against Phil?  No, I definitely would not pay to watch Tiger play against Phil”.

Graeme McDowell:

“It doesn’t really excite me to be honest.   I thought when the first announced the match they each would be contributing $5m of their own money and each got at it.   That would be a more intriguing match but the fact someone else is putting the money up changes it.  It would be a bit more exciting if there was a bit more rivalry between the two.   They are now supposed to be great mates.”

“So, I will probably watch it but it doesn’t excite me? I hope the match does move the golf needle a bit but would I pay to watch it .. aaahh.  It would intrigue me enough to turn the TV on but would I pay to watch it .aaaahh I might just do that out of interest only”

Dustin Johnson:

“I’m not going to be able watch all of it only because my brother (Austin and caddy) is getting married. I think it’s good but I would like the format to be a bit more exciting.”

“And no, I would not pay to watch it. No.  I see them all the time so why would I pay to watch them play golf. They are both playing pretty good right now and it should be a good match so for who would I put my money on, it depends you steps onto the tee with their better game.

“I would say it’s pretty evenly matched.  They’re both playing pretty well.”

Brooks Koepka:

“No, I won’t be paying to watch it as I have a wedding that day (Austin Johnson) and besides, I would rather be doing other stuff. I watch the two of them play out on the Tour week-in and week-out but then it should have happened five, six, 10-years ago.”

Russell Knox:

“It will be a close match and it will be fun to watch, so if I am anywhere near a TV, and I am going to be in Australia next week) I probably won’t watch it given the time difference. And yes, I would pay to watch it.”

“I think Tiger has to be favourite and it’s a good point in both their careers for this type of match to be taking place.  It would not have happened in the hay days and they are both still playing amazing. Of course, it’s not about the money but more about bragging right

Brandt Snedeker: (Mr. 59)

“I don’t bet so I won’t be putting money on either of them.   It will be fun to watch and it should be entertaining but then I’m not sure who will win as they are both pretty evenly matched.”

“It’s going to be all about bragging rights as neither of them need the money.” 

Webb Simpson:

“I can’t say who will win as I’m 50/50 as the match seems so even I would love to watch-it but there is no way I am going to pay to watch it.  I love this sport but I can watch Phil and Tiger play anytime.

Danny Willett:

“Looking at how both Tiger and Phil have been playing, your money has probably got to be on Tiger.  Phil clearly likes a punt and will like the format they’re chosen quite nicely.

“Personally, no I would not pay to watch it but I can see why golf fans around the world most definitely will but I am just a little bit busy these days to be watching golf on TV.”

Seamus Power:

“I was hoping it would be their own money.  One of my all-time favourite golf-theme shows was ‘Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf’.  I used to love that.  Tiger against Phil is going to be fun and it will be good they are ‘miked-up’.  It is going to be unique as you are going to have two of the best players of their generation, and no offence to Vijay (Singh), and it will kind of cool.”

“It is not going to be a tournament as such but then Tiger draws so many eyes and Phil likes a gambling game so is always going to be hard to beat.

“It’s a great initiative and the way Tiger was playing there near the end of the PGA Tour season, my money has to be on Tiger.

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