Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning defeated Phil Mickelsonand Tom Brady in ‘The Match,’ 1-up. Tiger and Peyton led 3-up through 10 holes before a talkative Mickelson led a late charge for his side. More importantly, the charitable efforts of the event raised $20 million for COVID-19 relief.
Woods and Mickelson will inexorably be tied together in history, the two most accomplished players of their era. Over the last thirty years, Woods ranks first and Mickelson ranks second in PGA Tour wins, top-ten finishes, earnings, playoff wins, major victories and top-ten finishes in majors.
Tiger was a combined 65 strokes under par during his run of four consecutive majors won from the 2000 U.S. Open through the 2001 Masters – also known as the ‘Tiger Slam.’ Mickelson and Ernie Els had the second-best score to par during those four events – 20-under, 45 shots behind Woods.
Throughout the last decade, Mickelson has often publicly said that Woods got the best out of him as a player. The numbers support Lefty’s claim: from 2005 through 2014, Phil’s scoring average when playing with Tiger (69.4) was one shot better than when he wasn’t playing with him (70.4).
Woods hit his approach shot at the par 3 fourth hole (190 yards) to 8 feet, 4 inches, winning the $125,000 closest to the pin contest. Last season, Tiger ranked 40th on the PGA Tour in approach shot proximity from 175 to 200 yards, averaging 31 feet, 5 inches.
Mickelson’s most memorable shot of the day was a pulverized drive at 11, where he was just off the green on the 342-yard par four. Tom Brady then knocked in the putt to give the pair the hole. Mickelson’s longest drive of the 2019-2020 PGA Tour season so far was hit 361 yards at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
There aren’t many accomplishments in golf that Woods doesn’t lay claim to, but there are a few things Phil has done that Tiger has not. For one, only one player in PGA Tour history has three rounds of 60 or lower: Phil Mickelson.
The Rocket Mortgage Classic would have been this week on the PGA Tour schedule – that event will now be held the first week of July. At last year’s event, Nate Lashley went from barely making the tournament to winning it wire-to-wire. Lashley was just the fourth player in the last 25 years to get his first PGA Tour win in wire-to-wire fashion (no ties, no playoff).
That week, Lashley became one of just three players in the last 15 years to win on the PGA Tour as an alternate. Derek Ernst did it at the 2013 Wells Fargo, and Vaughn Taylor won it at the 2016 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
In 17 days, the PGA Tour is scheduled to return to action at the Charles Schwab Challenge. Over the last ten years, the players with the best scoring averages at Colonial (minimum 12 rounds played) are Jordan Spieth (67.79), Kevin Na (68.37) and Webb Simpson (68.42).