Sir Nick Faldo has shared his thoughts on last Friday’s $9m showdown between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson and, spoiler alert, he wasn’t very impressed with what went down.
Although he wasn’t able to catch the action in full, the six-time major winner saw enough of the goings-on at ‘The Match’ to criticise its timing, delivery and focus around the winner’s prize.
“For starters, for me, it was the wrong time,” he told bunkered.co.uk from Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates, where he is attending the Faldo Series Europe Grand Final.
“It would have been brilliant if it had been a real challenge match between Tiger and Phil in 2006 when they were both winning majors. So, the time factor totally missed it.
“I also feel it should have been billed way more as an exhibition rather than this ‘trash talk’ match it seemed to be in the build-up. I thought they were going to have a go at each other and interact more. It just seemed to get caught between different types of match.
“Then there were the complaints that people had paid and then couldn’t watch it, then it was available for free. There were a lot of things. But it’s a tough thing these type of matches as if one player is on and the other is off, it doesn’t really match up.”
Faldo also took a swipe at the $9m prize money which, in his opinion, missed the mark with it centered around what the top two players in the PGA Tour’s career money list would win, rather than it being more charity-focused.
“I think the cash amount was unnecessary and them posing like that, I think that’s what did it for many of us,” he added.
“It would have been great if the event was driven by charity, with members of the players’ chosen charities waiting at the side of the green when a hole was won and the cheque could be passed to them there and then.
“But it wasn’t. It was driven by the fact they were playing for $9m, which was an unnecessary number to get our attention.”
Faldo does see a potential future for these types of matches, though, but only if the charitable aspect is brought more into focus.
“They need to get the formula right,” he continued. “There are plenty of guys who would say they’re going to play for, say, six charities, and if they win the money would get evenly split between them.
“I understand that the players are professionals, they want to get paid in some way for doing it, but it doesn’t need to be as blatant as that.”
• Sir Nick Faldo was talking exclusively to bunkered.co.uk from his Faldo Series Europe Grand Final at Al Ain Equestrian Shooting & Golf Club. For further information on Faldo Series and Faldo Design visit www.nickfaldo.com and follow @FaldoSeries and @FaldoDesign on Twitter.