An alternative look at the Tiger vs. Phil in a winner-takes-all grudge match

The Scoop

Who's got the better mates? Who looks good in a pair of jeans? Mark Townsend has his own Tiger vs. Phil match-up – and it's anything but getting the ball in the hole

Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are due to get it on in a winner-takes-all $10 million head-to-head match that is reported to be going ahead on Thanksgiving weekend.

But it is happening, so we asked Mark Townsend to break down all the important factors of the clash to give you a steer on who you should be supporting…

What level is the cringe factor on?

Phil Mickelson

If any golfer in the history of golf was Marmite it is Mickelson. For some he is the archetypal American hero with the ever-ready smile, the thumbs up to order, the go-for-broke game and trophy wife.

For others it’s all just a load of BS.

If you don’t like industrial language or gobbing to order then Tiger probably isn’t your favourite player. But, and he mighty be many things to many people, but he hardly makes you cringe.

Phil’s far too goofy not to take this one. Need any more convincing? Here you go…

Tiger 1 Phil 0

What do you look like in a pair of jeans?

Tiger Woods jeans

You know the answer to this one, don’t you? Surprisingly a simple search of Mickelson in jeans brings up some quite favourable results and the left-hander looks relatively cool with the addendum that he is American and pretty much any American looks out of sorts in jeans.

Tiger on the other hand, despite all the millions, incredible physique and wardrobe options, has failed to look anything other than horrific when donning the denim.

Hands down, Tiger gets the nod.

Tiger 1 Phil 1 

Who’s got the wow factor?

tiger woods us open

Say what you want about either of these two but there’s a good reason that these two remain the game’s biggest earners. Forget Rory, Justin or Justin – and DJ, who doesn’t even get into Forbes’ Top 100 Highest Paid Athletes – Tiger remains No. 1 with Mickelson next up.

You can argue that Phil is the true fans’ favourite but, in comparison, Tiger is on an altogether different level. Mickelson will trash talk anyone but he knows he’s on shaky ground with the GOAT.

As Mickelson commented in Alan Shipnuck’s breaking the news of this match: “The tough thing is that he has the trump card: his career record. OK? Whether it’s 14 majors, 79 wins, however many players of the year awards, FedEx Cups, the whole deal. He owns all the trump cards. So I have to be very careful and strategic in my smack talk, because if I lay something down, in comes a trump card, you know, and then shuts me right up.”

Tiger 2 Phil 1

Beware the cliché

Phil Mickelson

One of the better moments of the year is Phil Mickelson’s Open pre-championship press conference where he will entertain and demonstrate his brilliant level of insight into the game.

Some of it might be a load of old baloney or some self-serving chat but it’s always a great listen; be it his make-up of the bag, his plan to play the course or simply how he’s been putting. This year might be different but Tiger’s annual chat at the Open is generally one big yawn with a variety of words and phrases coming out of his mouth that don’t add up to very much at all.

Tiger 2 Phil 2

Phil’s pulled it back to 2-2 – but can he go on and win? Find out on the next page…

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