Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson start ‘smack speak’ forward of The Match


The 2 outdated foes, now good buddies, will conflict Friday in an 18-hole head-to-head, dubbed “The Match,” at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas, Nevada.

And the pair, who’ve 19 majors between them, have already upped the ante by wagering a separate $200,000 out of their very own pockets — to profit one another’s chosen charities — on whether or not Mickelson will birdie the primary gap.

“The powerful factor was getting him to chunk,” mentioned Mickelson, who first proposed a $100,000 wager, speaking to CNN World Sport’s Hines Ward in Las Vegas.

“Not solely did he take it, he doubled it. He doubled it, are you kidding me? That is superior. I am unable to imagine it.”

Woods, who gained the PGA Tour’s season-ending Tour Championship in September for his first victory in 5 years, mentioned the challenges can be “escalating.”

“We’re attempting to get in one another’s heads,” added the 42-year-old.

‘Bragging rights’

Former world No.1 Woods has at all times had the higher hand over his compatriot all through their illustrious careers, and had gained eight of his 14 majors earlier than Mickelson clinched his first in 2004.

Woods has 80 PGA Tour wins — the second highest of all time — to Mickelson’s 43, and is extensively anticipated to prevail at Shadow Creek after his exceptional return to kind.

A powerful comeback season culminated within the Tour Championship win following a fourth main again surgical procedure in April 2017.

Mickelson staged a renaissance of his personal this 12 months with a primary win since his British Open triumph in 2013, and is adamant he can take down his former nemesis.

“The bragging rights that can go on for months and years after this will probably be simply as beneficial [as money],” mentioned Mickelson. “As a result of if I will come out on high I’m the worst man to lose to. I am going to discover a method to ensure you always remember.”

“He is that man,” mentioned Woods.

“That makes me a enjoyable man to beat,” fired again Mickelson.

Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods shake hands during a press conference.

‘Smack speak’

The 2 gamers will put on microphones for the match, which means these stumping up the $19.99 to look at on pay-per-view within the US will have the ability to hear their interactions on the course.

” Tiger is an underrated smack talker,” mentioned Mickelson, 48. “He would not get the credit score for his smack speak as a result of he does it so understated and he does it below his breath so no person else can hear apart from you.

“That humorous facet of him goes to come back out.”

The pair have been identified to have a frosty relationship of their aggressive heyday, however involvement within the US Ryder Cup process power, Presidents Cups and Mickelson’s help via Woods’ accidents have bonded them in recent times.

At a information convention in Las Vegas to advertise “The Match,” they stood nose to nose like boxers earlier than a prize battle however dissolved into giggles seconds later.

With each gamers having tasted success once more this 12 months, Mickelson predicted a “phenomenal” 2019. When requested who will win the subsequent main between them, the left hander pointed to the subsequent main on the calendar, the Masters in April.

“It is at Augusta, we have each had success there,” he laughed.

Woods, a four-time Masters champion, added: “I imply, there’s seven coats [green jackets] between us.

“However I’ve extra.”

“You see the subtlety?” mentioned Mickelson. “He pays a praise after which he throws a dig.”

If he wins, Mickelson is already planning a repeat of his “worm” dance routine that lit up social media earlier this season in an advert for his clothes sponsor.

“It’s extremely doable that I would do the worm throughout the inexperienced,” he mentioned. “I am unsure the way it’s all going to play out as a result of I do not wish to rub it in too early however that would come out.”

Woods mentioned he was protected given Mickelson vowed solely to carry out it if he wins, however he admits he’s below “stress” to come back out on high to keep away from seeing the worm.

“How he responds to that stress. That is the actual query,” mentioned Mickelson.

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