The anticipation is over and the winner has been revealed, Phil Mickelson has beaten Tiger Woods in overtime on Friday in their $9 million pay-per-view match in Las Vegas that ended up free for many viewers because of technical problems.
Mickelson won on the 22nd hole, making a 4-foot birdie putt on a specially set up 93-yard, par 3. The match at Shadow Creek Golf Club finished under floodlights.
Woods said he enjoyed the match, even if he was on the losing end.
Technical difficulties marred the event, which was billed as golf’s first pay-per-view broadcast.
Some viewers unable to view it on their televisions after paying $19.95. Turner and Bleacher Report representatives sent out links on social media allowing people to view it for free on their computers and mobile devices.
There were over 500 people on hold online waiting for assistance during one point.
“We experienced some technical issues on B/R Live that temporarily impacted user access to The Match. We’ve taken a number of steps to resolve the matter, with our main priority being the delivery of content to those that have purchased the PPV event,” Turner spokeswoman Tareia Williams said in an emailed statement.
Only 700 invited guests were allowed to watch the event at Shadow Creek. The match was billed as a chance for viewers to watch an untraditional golf broadcast as both golfers and their caddies were mic’d up. It also featured live odds from MGM resorts and a drone was used for live shots.
There was some chitchat between Woods and Mickelson early on but not much as the stakes increased.
Mickelson said on the 15th hole to Woods that “I’m trying to be more talkative but I’m not on this back nine.”
Woods understood and responded that they were going back to their old model of “trying to beat each other’s brains in.”
The most revealing moment on the front nine happened after Woods missed a 4-foot, short par putt on the second hole to give Mickelson an early advantage.
“I was half a second from giving him that putt because he always makes those,” Mickelson said to his brother, Tim, who was his caddie.
Mickelson was 1 up through the front nine before Woods seized the lead with birdies on the par-4 11th and 12th holes. Mickelson then squared it with a birdie on the par-3 13th and retook the lead when Woods bogeyed the par-4 15th.
Woods tied it with a birdie from the fringe of the green on the par-3 17th. Both birdied the par-5 18th and then parred the first playoff hole before it went to the par-3 extra hole — which was pitch shots off the practice putting green — that they kept playing until there was a winner.