GET INTO GOLF: Tiger, Phil to faceoff in match for the ages
If you’ve been around the game of golf for a while, you might remember the Thanksgiving weekend Skins Game. It was great stuff to watch as four of the best players, usually all-time greats, competed in a two day event.
For those new to the game, a skins game is played similar to match play. Each hole is it’s own match, with the winner (lowest score) earning a so-called skin. Each skin has a value and, in this televised format the skins increase in value as the round progesses.
If two or more players tie for the low score on the hole, no skin is won and the value of the skin carries over to the next hole.
Of course, things would get very interesting if a skin had not been won for several holes.
Players such as Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Fred Couples and more of golf’s legends would meet in the Palm Springs area to participate. A certain amount of the money would go to charity and it was fun to watch.
Then, likely for financial reasons, the event went away.
With the increase in prize money on the PGA Tour, the cost to entice top player’s to give up their Thanksgiving at home may have become too great. So, since 2008 our Thanksgiving weekends have been without televised golf.
That will change in 2018. After a decade and nothing to go with that leftover turkey sandwich, we’ve got a match that will be worth the wait.
It’s a different format, but it may be the most intriguing match up yet. It’s Tiger vs. Phil.
That’s right, arguably the best player ever and perhaps golf’s most beloved elite player. They are the two active leaders in wins. Phil with 43 and Tiger with 79.
They have also had their differences. From personal lives to golf club manufacturers, salvos have been fired. So, although there is some big money involved ($9 million is reported to go to the winner), there is something bigger than money at stake — pride.
For us commoners, $9 million would sure stir the adrenaline. Maybe even make us pass out. However, when you are talking about the No. 1 and No. 2 all-time money winners on tour, $9 million does not change your life.
Pride is the larger factor. It will be a match for the ages.
More on that at a later date. Between now and then, enjoy the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup playoffs beginning this week with the Northern Trust championship. Tiger and Phil are both in the field. Who knows, maybe we’ll get a lucky pairing and a precursor to their upcoming match.
John Renslow is a PGA Professional, VP of Yugi Golf Management, and provides Golf Instruction at local courses.
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