Phil Mickelson loses $200k bet to Tiger Woods on first hole of The Match showdown

The Match: Tiger vs Phil

Phil Mickelson managed to lose $200,000 just 15 minutes into his long-awaited showdown with Tiger Woods as part of The Match - a competition which saw them go head-to-head for $9 million. 

Mickelson and Woods have shared a rivalry throughout the entirety of their long and illustrious careers, with both golfers remaining two of the largest and most popular names within the sport. 

After it was announced that the two legends would go head-to-head as part of the inaugural The Match - competing for a $9 million prize - both golfers were keen to add an extra something to the contest to entice fans. 

For Mickelson, this meant placing a $200,000 bet on him birdying the very first hole of the contest - a bet that originally stood at $100,000 before Woods challenged him to double it. 

Whilst many fans remained confident that this was well within the powers of 'Lefty', all were in for a surprise, however, after Mickelson missed the chance to birdie the opening hole by mere inches. 

Whilst Mickelson looked to see the humour in the moment, rival Woods certainly did, announcing loudly to the on-watching crowds that the miss had 'hurt the pocket' of his rival. 

Despite the ongoing success of the event, and its popularity amongst some fans, other fans and pundits have been far less glowing when it came to their assessment. 

Many feel the event makes a mockery of the sport, and has been created purely to help drive up some publicity for both golfers. 

Indeed, fellow professional golfer and former world number one Rory McIlroy agreed with such assertions, claiming: "If they had done it 15 years ago, it would have been great, but nowadays, it's missed the mark a bit."

Despite the criticism, however, many pundits had stated their interest in assessing Woods' performance across the event. 

Woods ended the regular season in spectacular fashion, claiming his 80th PGA Tour event victory - his first in almost five years. 

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