Phil Mickelson hatched an idea to put on a pay-per-view, high-money golf match with Tiger Woods. Somewhat miraculously, the concept became a reality in 2018.
And while there were plenty of doubters and critics, the numbers -- suggesting 1 million people paid for the event. Then add in the thousands who tuned into the online stream when they learned it was free, and there was more than enough interest to not only justify the concept but to demonstrate a market for a series of matches.
The Match: The Sequel(s)?
It appears there will be another The Match, maybe two or even more, involving Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. However, Woods' agent, Mark Steinberg, disputes a Golf Digest report that a three-year deal has been signed by the two to extend the concept into 2020.
"We – and that's a very big we when I say the Woods camp, the Mickelson camp, the Turner camp – have a lot to talk about,'' Steinberg told ESPN.com. "We don't have any specifics on what it might look like, whether it's Tiger-Phil, two others, four others.''
Woods and Mickelson set up a joint entity to work with Turner and to house the rights to The Match concept. The joint entity is expected to begin discussions anew with Turner in early 2019. The parties, Steinberg said, still have to review the full metrics behind the November match, which Mickelson won on the fourth extra hole, played on a makeshift par 3 at Shadow Creek Golf Course in Las Vegas. Capital One title-sponsored the event, which boasted a $9 million "winner-take-all" purse, while the likes of Audi had other sponsor engagement. Skeptics have suggested Woods and Mickelson split the purse in some agreement, though it's evident both players made money by selling rights to the concept to Turner.
Of course, both reports could be true. Speculatively, the joint entity could have signed a three-year deal to give Turner first-look rights at matches through 2020, with specific agreements for each match. Rights deals typically offer right of first refusal to potential future rights.
Digest suggested the concept could change in future editions, with Woods and Mickelson potentially teaming together to take on two opponents, or Woods and Mickelson playing with partners against each other.