Sky Sports has secured a last-minute deal to broadcast exclusively live UK television coverage of Tiger Woods’ head-to-head showdown with Phil Mickelson in Las Vegas on Friday.
The long-time rivals clash in “The Match” at Shadow Creek, with $9m (£7m) up for grabs in the winner-takes-all contest.
Sky Sports will take the American broadcaster TNT’s live feed from the event, hosted by MGM Resorts International, with five hours of live coverage beginning from 8pm on Friday on Sky Sports’ dedicated golf channel.
The pair, who have 19 major titles between them, will also play a number of side-challenges during the match, with both players and caddies mic’d up as they negotiate the course.
Woods or Mickelson could raise the stakes by challenging the other to a long-drive, closest-to-the-pin or similar competition during a hole, with the side bets coming out of the players’ own pockets and benefiting various charitable causes.
Whilst opinion has been divided with the sport over the contest, one thing everybody can agree on is that golf will have never seen anything like this before.
The two players both said in their press conference that they believed the showdown would be well received by the viewers and attract new fans to the sport, as well as remaining adamant that the contest – only available on pay-per-view in America – was more about the money than helping to grow the game.
Woods will make his first televised appearance since featuring for the United States team at the Ryder Cup, where both him and Mickelson failed to register a point in a 17.5-10.5 defeat at Le Golf National.
Watch ‘The Match: Tiger Woods v Phil Mickelson’ exclusively live on Sky Sports Golf from 8pm on Friday, 23 November.