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Woods-Mickelson duel way too late: Rahm

 

By Phil Casey

Jon Rahm will be watching the multi-million dollar showdown between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson either in person or on TV, despite admitting the contest has come 10 years too late.

Woods and Mickelson will go head-to-head at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas tonight, with $9m (£7m) going to the winner and the proceeds from side bets, including one of £155,000 on the first hole, going to charity.

The event is not open to the public but will be available on pay-per-view, with both players wearing microphones so that viewers can listen to their interaction and further side bets.

Interest from fellow players has been mixed, with Justin Thomas saying there was "zero per cent chance" he would be watching, while Rory McIlroy said: "Fifteen years ago it would have been great, but nowadays it missed the mark a little bit."

Sixteen years ago Woods and Mickelson were ranked first and second in the world, but are currently 13th and 27th respectively, have a combined age of 90 and were last seen together scoring no points from six matches at the Ryder Cup.

However, Rahm said: "I'll be watching. I'm close to Vegas, so I'm still deciding if I'm going to go see it in person or not.

"But I'll be interested in seeing how it is. I don't know how it will be, and maybe in the future I'll find myself in one of those, so hopefully it's a success.

"(But) I feel like this is 10 years too late. Maybe when they were both in their prime it would have been extremely amazing. I'm still not clear on the format.

"I'd be surprised if the match finishes before the 17th hole. If somebody has a really bad day they're not going to finish on the 13th, two hours too early.

"The only thing Phil has on Tiger is that he won on the PGA Tour as an amateur (1991 Tucson Open), but I think 14 Majors and 80 PGA Tour events are a lot more valuable than that.

"Tiger's always going to have the upper hand on that and, knowing Phil, it will bother him a lot that he's not the man in power."

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