$9 million and a lifetime of bragging rights are on the line for Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson

  • "The Match" between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson is a one-round winner-takes-all Las Vegas golf event.
  • A $200,000 side bet on Mickelson making a birdie on the first hole has already been placed between the two players.
  • U.S. viewers will be charged $19.99 to watch, with no public spectators allowed on the course.
Tiger Woods celebrates his two stroke victory on the 18th hole green during the final round of the TOUR Championship, the final event of the FedExCup Playoffs, at East Lake Golf Club on September 23, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. 
Keyur Khamar | US PGA TOUR | Getty Images
Tiger Woods celebrates his two stroke victory on the 18th hole green during the final round of the TOUR Championship, the final event of the FedExCup Playoffs, at East Lake Golf Club on September 23, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. 

It's golf, but not as we know it. Friday sees two of the game's greats go head to head, with no trophy or major title to be won.

There is a huge amount of money on the line, however, when Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson tee it up in Las Vegas for a special showdown.

A $9 million winner-takes-all prize is what's at stake, as "The Match" tests the water for golf's pay-per-view and over-the-top platform potential.

Golf is attempting to engage with a new younger audience as are several other sports, including Formula One and tennis, in adapting formats across an advancing digital landscape.

"This is very different than anything golf has ever done in the past," Woods said earlier this week in the buildup to the event. "We're able to showcase our sport in such a different light and all the different technologies we're going to be bringing to this event and to do it differently than any other golfing event has ever been done."

Anyone wishing to watch the action unfold at the Shadow Creek course will have to pay $19.99 to do so on pay-per-view; no members of the public will be admitted to watch from the fairways and greens.

For those watching at home, live betting odds will be displayed on the screen, covering a range of markets to tempt viewers into wagering on the outcome.

Gambling will be almost actively encouraged throughout the event as Woods and Mickelson challenge each other with high-stakes side bets paid from their own pockets for good causes. In another twist, both players and their caddies will wear microphones on the course.

The "smack talk" began at the preround news conference — first with Mickelson betting $100,000 that he'll birdie the first hole and Woods calling him out to double it. The theater was then amplified when the pair squared up for a nose-to-nose boxing-style publicity photo, although Mickelson did struggle to keep a straight face.

Woods has 14 major titles, while Mickelson has five, including three Green Jackets from The Masters. But both players believe this special round at Shadow Creek Golf Club is about more than money.

Phil Mickelson
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Phil Mickelson

Aside from the $9 million prize, which is being backed by Capital One bank, Mickelson said the most important element is the bragging rights for the winner. Both are promising not to let the other forget the result.

"He (Woods) would always come along and break every single record," said Mickelson. "It's my chance after losing so many majors to you and tournaments to get a little something back."

Woods and Mickelson still have large profiles within the sport, despite not currently featuring among golf's top 10 ranked male players. However, according to Forbes, both earned over $40 million during this year.

Spain's Jon Rahm and Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy both suggested the Woods-Mikelson showdown has come 10 years too late.

However, when the match was announced in August it did draw some support from Australian golfer and former Masters champion Adam Scott, who even hinted he would be interested in a similar matchup with compatriot Jason Day.