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Better late than never? Woods, Mickelson prepare for ‘The Match’

Los Angeles, Thursday @PeopleSports11

A must-see collision between two of golf’s greatest rivals or a cynical multi-million-dollar cash-grab?Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson will go head-to-head in Las Vegas on Friday with opinion divided over the merits of a contest that will see the winner pocket $9 million.

For many observers, the winner-take-all pay-per-view meeting of the 19-time major winners is at least a decade past its sell-by date.

Mickelson, 48, and Woods, 42, were once fierce opponents, regularly sparring for the sport’s biggest prizes.

Even if the rivalry was uneven Woods spent 683 weeks as world number one; Mickelson never managed to occupy the top spot the popular narrative endured.

But since their heyday in the late 1990s and early 2000s, however, both Woods and Mickelson have been in steady decline.

While they both recorded victories on the PGA Tour in 2018, it has been five years since Mickelson won a major, while Woods hasn’t hoisted a major since 2008.

And the unmistakable frostiness that once marked their relationship has given way to a warmth that has seen the two play regular practice rounds together.

All of which has meant that attempts to hype Friday’s clash at the exclusive Shadow Creek Golf Course as a grudge match have rung hollow.  -AFP

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