Over your weekend munching of those wonderful Turkey Day leftovers these post Woods-Mickelson poop show observations:
The real star of this Woods-Mickelson match was Shadow Creek. It was a close look inside an ultra-exclusive course that not many get to step foot on. First, it was one of the most expensive courses ever built, certainly the most expensive in the United States. Estimates range from $60 to $100 million to construct. Some 21,000 trees were brought to the property, you cannot see any of it from outside the property. It was built on a flat, desert terrain. It’s an architectural marvel from Tom Fazio, who had the joy of building a course with an unlimited budget.
Not one blade of grass was out of place, perfect in every way. No excuse for either Phil or Tiger, neither of whom could break 70 on Friday with no wind.
The course and scenery were the best thing about this match.
Along with the $9 million, Lefty was awarded a very, very pricey “Champion’s Belt.” A 14-karat gold bucket with a diamond-encrusted golf ball in the center. Only problem is that it was cut to fit Tiger’s waist-size. Lefty couldn’t get it around his ample girth. No doubt they’ll replace it for him.
The “side-bet” aspect was a huge flop. Aside from Mickelson losing $200k on the first hole because he couldn’t make birdie, it was so very predictable. They threw out some closest-to-pin challenges. There was only one long drive challenge and both hit it in a fairway bunker on the 488-yard par four 14th. As things got tense down the stretch, the side bets vanished.
There was a total of $800,000 won in side bets. Woods won $200k when Phil didn’t birdie the first hole but Mickelson then won all three closest-to-the-hole bets for a total of $600,000 paid by Tiger to Phil’s favorite charities.
There was very little if any “trash-talking” between the two. You could sense the level of respect they have for each other. Best moment was on the practice putting green when they both arrived:
Phil to Tiger: “Oh, you’re wearing red!” Tiger to Phil: “Black, very slimming….”
The pre-game banter was a clown show. They stuck Las Vegas resident Pat Perez in there with Samuel Jackson and Charles Barkley. Early, Tiger said: “Because it’s Phil, love making him squirm — nothing better than taking money from Phil.” Sorry Tiger.
As for Phil, he countered with this: “That’s tough to do (getting under Tiger’s skin). I don’t have a great answer.”
The first ball was in the air at 3:12 EST. Seems like it lasted forever. Good thing they started early. Sun sets in Vegas at 4:30 p.m. their time. Lights on the 18th green and the practice putting green allowed them to set up that makeshift 93-yard hole for the 20th, 21st and 22nd holes of the playoff. Tiger needs to work on his wedge game. He only hit one decent shot out of three tries from that distance and still couldn’t make the putt.
The microphones on the players picked up a lot of heavy breathing, especially from Lefty. For a pro athlete he was sure huffing and puffing his way around Shadow Creek. As for Tiger, the guy has allergies. His nose was running all day and the mic picked up every snort by El Tigre.
Not sure when we’ll see Phil again but Tiger will be on the tube this coming week in the Bahamas when he hosts his Hero Challenge. Hopefully he putts better than he did at Shadow Creek.