Tiger Woods came fourth in the Quicken Loans National last week
The showdown between two of golf’s most popular athletes was originally scheduled for July 3 in Las Vegas, but the details surrounding the match’s TV rights and corporate sponsorships reportedly weren’t settled in time.
Mickelson, six years older than Woods at 48, confirmed their respective managers are working together to get what would be one of the greatest head-to-head matches in a very long time back on the calendar.
“We’re working on a different date,” said Mickelson. “I thought it was done for the 3rd but obviously it wasn’t.”
It was Mickelson who suggested to Woods that the duo go head-to-head after they were paired for the opening two rounds of this year’s Players Championship.
Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are long-time rivals
Phil Mickelson’s last Major success came five years ago at The Open
There are suggestions too that Mickelson ‘bounced’ the idea off his long-time golfing rival when they played a rare practice round together during April’s Masters.
“Why don’t we just bypass all the ancillary stuff of a tournament and just go head to head and just have kind of a high-stakes, winner-take-all match?’’ Mickelson said after a practice round in the week leading up to the Players.
“Now, I don’t know if he wants a piece of me, but I just think it would be something that would be really fun for us to do, and I think there would be a lot of interest in it if we just went straight to the final round.’’
Mickelson and Woods have been battling each other on the PGA Tour for years, but only recently have they been open about their appreciation for each other as competitors and friends.
Tiger Woods is without a title since 2013
Phil Mickelson has won every Major except the US Open, where he finished joint-33rd this year
“Nobody respects and appreciates what he’s done for the game more because nobody’s benefited from what he’s done for the game of golf more than I have,’’ Mickelson said of Woods at the Masters.
“I’ve always had that appreciation and respect for him. To see him back out playing is incredible. We all feel that.”
Woods said at the time: “Phil and I have been through it for so long and our friendship has gotten stronger over the years.
“We’re at the tail end of our careers [and] we both know that. He’s 47 and I’m 42, and we have had a great 20-year battle, hopefully we’ll have a few more.’’