The side bets, the trash talking, and plans for a celebratory “worm” dance are in full swing as Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson gear up for their much-hyped $9 million duel in the desert.
The two old foes, now good friends, will clash Friday in an 18-hole head-to-head, dubbed “The Match,” at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas, Nevada.
And the pair, who have 19 majors between them, have already upped the ante by wagering a separate $200,000 out of their own pockets — to benefit each other’s chosen charities — on whether Mickelson will birdie the first hole.
“The tough thing was getting him to bite,” said Mickelson, who first proposed a $100,000 bet, talking to CNN World Sport’s Hines Ward in Las Vegas.
“Not only did he take it, he doubled it. He doubled it, are you kidding me? That’s awesome. I can’t believe it.”
Woods, who won the PGA Tour’s season-ending Tour Championship in September for his first victory in five years, said the challenges would be “escalating.”
“We’re trying to get in each other’s heads,” added the 42-year-old.