After helping found and popularize the franchise, Phil Mickelson will no longer be part of The Match moving forward. This is no surprise since Mickelson made the move to LIV Golf, splitting the sport in half. He’s become distant from the usual mainstream golf community that he was part of for so many decades.
Lefty and Tiger Woods battled in the first-ever edition of The Match. The event brought a new and fun and exciting twist to the sport that desperately needed it. Since then, the concept has evolved to include Pro-Am versions with celebrity participants.
However, it’s official that Phil Mickelson is no longer affiliated with the event. Producer and director Bryan Zuriff confirmed the news to Sports Illustrated on Friday.
“Phil was a phenomenal partner and he helped build this thing,” Zuriff said. “He was really good in this show. But he chose an opportunity and has taken a different path. Our show lives on because people like it.
“Look, we’re in business with the PGA Tour. We’re basically a PGA Tour event. Maybe one day, LIV will figure out their stuff. Then I’ll work with whomever (sic) is appropriate.”
That first version of The Match was great. This was a time when Tiger was coming back to the tour and Phil was winning at an older age. The rivalry was reigniting a bit and people wanted to see this go down. Any time you can get two greats in a sport to face off one-on-one, it’s magic. People that hadn’t watched golf in years tuned in to watch.
Phil Mickelson-less The Match Will Raise Money For Hurricane Relief
Even without Phil Mickelson, the show must go on. Tiger Wood is going to team up with a group of PGA golfers to put on a show for the people and raise money for a great cause. On December 10th, the GOAT will be teamed up with Rory McIlroy against Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth.
When you talk about the biggest names in golf, those four are it! The money raised is going to be donated to Hurricane Ian relief. Tiger is ready to put on a show to entertain and do some good for people who need it.
This event remains a good thing for the sport of golf. If this does nothing but brings in new eyeballs to the sport, it’s a win for all of golf. There seems to be a new wave of excitement around the sport. Tiger’s emergence is part of that. Phil Mickelson going to LIV with a lot of other golfers is part of it. And The Match is undoubtedly part of it.