Infotainment Factory: Why 'The Match' has divided the golf world

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Thursday, 22 November 2018

Why 'The Match' has divided the golf world


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This weekend one of golf’s biggest and most ambitious events will take place in Las Vegas. But not everyone is pleased about it.

This might be the most controversial golf event ever staged in fact.

At Shadow Creek Golf Club in Las Vegas, Tiger Woods will play Phil Mickelson in a never-before-seen, one-off, head-to-head exhibition they’re simply calling 'The Match'.

To the winner goes the bragging rights that is the culmination of nearly two decades of golfing rivalry between two 40-something champions who together have won a total of 19 majors and 123 US PGA Tour titles. Oh, and there’s also a cool $US9 million in cold hard cash for the victor as well.

The players and their caddies will be mic’d up throughout the round, and in between trash talk the pair are also expected to put down numerous big-money bets out of their own pockets for charity, with $US200,000 already on the line for Mickelson if he can make birdie on the first hole. 

Phil and Tiger make $200k first side bet

The matchplay showdown is the first event in golf history that will be offered to the public as a pay-per-view broadcast, and with only a very small number of VIPs and sponsors allowed to attend the exclusive Las Vegas course for 'The Match', watching the event from home will be the only way for the masses to see it.

For those outside of the US though, the $US19.99 pay-per-view stream is not even offered. 

Without the atmosphere and visuals of an excited gallery following them around 18 holes, it begs the question what it will even look like on the broadcast. The likelihood is that it will come across less like live sport and more as a carefully choreographed reality show. Live on-screen odds, overhead drone cameras, and Samuel L. Jackson and Charles Barkley in the pre-match show gives you an idea of what to expect.

Tiger and Phil struggle to keep a straight face during stare down

Picking Las Vegas to play at was no accident either, with the bookies licking their lips at the prospect of the many exotic bets people will gamble on including the total curse words that will be muttered, how many side bets there’ll be and which player will make the most birdies.

As they do in Las Vegas, the sideshow surrounding 'The Match' has tried to emulate that of a boxing world title fight, however so far it has more accurately resembled a tacky pantomime a la McGregor vs Mayweather, just with a lot less swearing.

https://twitter.com/brlive/status/1060704020443078656

Like that farce was criticised by boxing purists, 'The Match' has also divided golf and sports fans.

For the naysayers it raises more questions than answers – Why now? What can Tiger and Phil really prove at this point in their careers? Why do they need $US9 million? Would they do this for any less or is this just a blatant money grab? Why would you pay to watch this match when you can watch them every weekend on the PGA Tour? Why are they trying to be something they’re not? Where’s the class?

Their fellow pros aren’t convinced either.

Mickelson lauds 'future' of golf with The Match

Rory McIlroy believes 15 years ago was the time to do it but now "it’s missed the mark". Justin Thomas said "there’s a zero percent chance I order that", saying he’d rather watch the Thanksgiving football instead.

"It’s just a circus as far as I’m concerned," former Aussie touring pro Wayne Grady told Wide World of Sports.

"I remember many years ago Johnny Miller and Jack Nicklaus were offered a million dollars to play a match against each other and they declined because it wasn’t in the best interests of the game. I really don’t see the point in this event.

"You just hope they promote the game around the world, but they’re private contractors, and you can’t dictate where they play."

Unlike boxers, golfers don’t beat the crap out of each other with physical prowess that would make you turn the other way if you saw them in a dark alley.

They really aren’t 'cool' or 'mean'. They play in prestigious country clubs every week and have atrocious sock tans. There’s some players that are exciting to watch on the course, sure, but there isn’t the same authority-hating swagger factor in golfers like there is in boxers.

I mean, they wear financial corporation logos on their neatly-ironed polos and tailored slacks.

And the trash talk? Well it’s just a bit lame and forced.

In promoting 'The Match’ there’s a story Mickelson tells about the time he sat next to Tony Romo at a pre-tournament dinner before the former NFL quarterback was set to play in the Pebble Beach Pro-Am partnering with Woods. Romo and Mickelson knew it would bother Woods so they agreed they wouldn’t say anything to him about it. Then after their tee shot on the first tee 'Lefty' yelled to Romo about how great the dinner was, well within earshot of Woods, which Mickelson says got under the former world no.1’s skin.

Yeh, like I said. Lame. And I say all this as a golf fan.

Those who are in support of 'The Match' see it very differently though.

https://twitter.com/Skratch/status/1064860362321915904

To them this is golf history. No other players to get in the way of what the people really want to see, just one-on-one, mano-a-mano, legend vs legend. It’s a pay-per-view first, and signals a new era for integrating gambling and sports in the US especially. These one-off exhibition events cater to those barstool debates and bank on the nostalgic, undying obsession some golf tragics have for the Woods vs Mickelson rivalry.

For the 'get-in-the-hole' and 'bubba-booey' yelling 'Merican fans that want to chest bump each other at the Phoenix Open, this event is unmissable. It might as well be Christmas day.

Mickelson has already promised to do the worm on the green if he wins the $US9 million. C’mon. No-one wants to see that.

'The Match' begins at 7am, AEST, on Saturday morning November 24. 

This weekend one of golf’s biggest and most ambitious events will take place in Las Vegas. But not everyone is pleased about it.

This might be the most controversial golf event ever staged in fact.

At Shadow Creek Golf Club in Las Vegas, Tiger Woods will play Phil Mickelson in a never-before-seen, one-off, head-to-head exhibition they’re simply calling 'The Match'.

To the winner goes the bragging rights that is the culmination of nearly two decades of golfing rivalry between two 40-something champions who together have won a total of 19 majors and 123 US PGA Tour titles. Oh, and there’s also a cool $US9 million in cold hard cash for the victor as well.

The players and their caddies will be mic’d up throughout the round, and in between trash talk the pair are also expected to put down numerous big-money bets out of their own pockets for charity, with $US200,000 already on the line for Mickelson if he can make birdie on the first hole. 

Phil and Tiger make $200k first side bet

The matchplay showdown is the first event in golf history that will be offered to the public as a pay-per-view broadcast, and with only a very small number of VIPs and sponsors allowed to attend the exclusive Las Vegas course for 'The Match', watching the event from home will be the only way for the masses to see it.

For those outside of the US though, the $US19.99 pay-per-view stream is not even offered. 

Without the atmosphere and visuals of an excited gallery following them around 18 holes, it begs the question what it will even look like on the broadcast. The likelihood is that it will come across less like live sport and more as a carefully choreographed reality show. Live on-screen odds, overhead drone cameras, and Samuel L. Jackson and Charles Barkley in the pre-match show gives you an idea of what to expect.

Tiger and Phil struggle to keep a straight face during stare down

Picking Las Vegas to play at was no accident either, with the bookies licking their lips at the prospect of the many exotic bets people will gamble on including the total curse words that will be muttered, how many side bets there’ll be and which player will make the most birdies.

As they do in Las Vegas, the sideshow surrounding 'The Match' has tried to emulate that of a boxing world title fight, however so far it has more accurately resembled a tacky pantomime a la McGregor vs Mayweather, just with a lot less swearing.

https://twitter.com/brlive/status/1060704020443078656

Like that farce was criticised by boxing purists, 'The Match' has also divided golf and sports fans.

For the naysayers it raises more questions than answers – Why now? What can Tiger and Phil really prove at this point in their careers? Why do they need $US9 million? Would they do this for any less or is this just a blatant money grab? Why would you pay to watch this match when you can watch them every weekend on the PGA Tour? Why are they trying to be something they’re not? Where’s the class?

Their fellow pros aren’t convinced either.

Mickelson lauds 'future' of golf with The Match

Rory McIlroy believes 15 years ago was the time to do it but now "it’s missed the mark". Justin Thomas said "there’s a zero percent chance I order that", saying he’d rather watch the Thanksgiving football instead.

"It’s just a circus as far as I’m concerned," former Aussie touring pro Wayne Grady told Wide World of Sports.

"I remember many years ago Johnny Miller and Jack Nicklaus were offered a million dollars to play a match against each other and they declined because it wasn’t in the best interests of the game. I really don’t see the point in this event.

"You just hope they promote the game around the world, but they’re private contractors, and you can’t dictate where they play."

Unlike boxers, golfers don’t beat the crap out of each other with physical prowess that would make you turn the other way if you saw them in a dark alley.

They really aren’t 'cool' or 'mean'. They play in prestigious country clubs every week and have atrocious sock tans. There’s some players that are exciting to watch on the course, sure, but there isn’t the same authority-hating swagger factor in golfers like there is in boxers.

I mean, they wear financial corporation logos on their neatly-ironed polos and tailored slacks.

And the trash talk? Well it’s just a bit lame and forced.

In promoting 'The Match’ there’s a story Mickelson tells about the time he sat next to Tony Romo at a pre-tournament dinner before the former NFL quarterback was set to play in the Pebble Beach Pro-Am partnering with Woods. Romo and Mickelson knew it would bother Woods so they agreed they wouldn’t say anything to him about it. Then after their tee shot on the first tee 'Lefty' yelled to Romo about how great the dinner was, well within earshot of Woods, which Mickelson says got under the former world no.1’s skin.

Yeh, like I said. Lame. And I say all this as a golf fan.

Those who are in support of 'The Match' see it very differently though.

https://twitter.com/Skratch/status/1064860362321915904

To them this is golf history. No other players to get in the way of what the people really want to see, just one-on-one, mano-a-mano, legend vs legend. It’s a pay-per-view first, and signals a new era for integrating gambling and sports in the US especially. These one-off exhibition events cater to those barstool debates and bank on the nostalgic, undying obsession some golf tragics have for the Woods vs Mickelson rivalry.

For the 'get-in-the-hole' and 'bubba-booey' yelling 'Merican fans that want to chest bump each other at the Phoenix Open, this event is unmissable. It might as well be Christmas day.

Mickelson has already promised to do the worm on the green if he wins the $US9 million. C’mon. No-one wants to see that.

'The Match' begins at 7am, AEST, on Saturday morning November 24. 

https://ift.tt/2DBO2Ip
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