Sports fans are desperate for any type of live event to watch as the coronavirus outbreak continues to impact the United States, and Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods may be exploring the possibility of giving them what they want.
On Sunday night, a fan on Twitter asked Mickelson if there is a possibility of him and Tiger playing another one-on-one match like they did back in 2018. Such an event could be structured in a way that people could still follow social distancing guidelines, and Mickelson said he is “working on it.”
Working on it
— Phil Mickelson (@PhilMickelson) March 30, 2020
Mickelson then responded to another follower who told him not to “tease” fans.
I don’t tease. I’m kinda a sure thing
— Phil Mickelson (@PhilMickelson) March 30, 2020
Obviously, Woods would need to be on-board with the idea as well. Mickelson beat Tiger in “The Match” back in 2018 with $9 million at stake. The event was supposed to cost $19.99, but technical difficulties resulted in Turner Sports and Bleacher Report having to stream it for free. There were some awesome moments during the round and the two legends made sure to entertain fans for as long as they could.
If Mickelson and Woods were both interested in a rematch, perhaps the event could raise money for those being impacted by the coronavirus.
Tiger Woods did not know why fans in the gallery at the Farmer’s Insurance Open on Sunday were making Kobe Bryant references, but the 15-time major champion received the devastating news immediately after he finished playing.
It wasn’t until he put the finishing touches on his final round at Torrey Pines that Tiger learned Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna died in a tragic helicopter crash on Sunday morning. Woods said he heard fans telling him to “do it for Mamba,” but he was unsure of why.
Tiger Woods shared his thoughts on the sudden passing of Kobe Bryant. pic.twitter.com/jnCOzh1WBW
— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) January 26, 2020
Woods and Kobe have a lot in common as two of the most important athletes in their respective sports. Tiger spoke about how much he respected the way Kobe competed.
“He burned so competitively hot and had a desire to win,” Woods said. “He brought it each and every night on both ends of the floor. Not too many guys can say that in NBA history.”
Tiger also mentioned how much he admired when Kobe ruptured his Achilles and still went to the free throw line. Considering how many major injuries Tiger has battled back from in his career, it’s understandable that he appreciated that level of toughness from Bryant.
Woods is not the first iconic athlete to share his thoughts on Kobe’s passing, and he won’t be the last. The death of Kobe and his daughter has rocked the sports world and beyond.
More Larry Brown Sports coverage of Kobe Bryant’s death:
Other victims of the helicopter crash:
– John Altobelli, junior college baseball coach, also died in helicopter crash
– Christina Mauser, girls’ basketball coach, among the helicopter crash victims
Tributes to Kobe:
– Dallas Mavericks retire Kobe Bryant’s No. 24 jersey
– Video: Raptors, Spurs start game with amazing tribute to Kobe Bryant
– Shaq posts heartfelt tribute to Kobe Bryant
– Michael Jordan releases statement on death of ‘little brother’ Kobe Bryant
– Video: Doc Rivers breaks down crying talking about Kobe Bryant
– Phil Jackson calls Kobe Bryant ‘a chosen one’ in statement on his death
– NBA commissioner Adam Silver issues statement on death of Kobe Bryant
– Video: Dwyane Wade posts emotional message reacting to Kobe Bryant’s death
– Kendrick Perkins extends olive branch to Kevin Durant after Kobe Bryant’s death
– Video: Emotional Mike Breen sums up NBA world’s emotions about Kobe Bryant’s death
– Trae Young’s huge game was full of Kobe Bryant-related statistical coincidences
– Media errors, rumors, poor judgment run rampant in reporting of Kobe Bryant news
– Kobe Bryant checked in on Shaq’s son Shareef morning of helicopter crash
– No, Rick Fox did not die in helicopter crash that killed Kobe, Gianna Bryant
– Lakers fans start memorial to Kobe Bryant outside Staples Center
– Kobe Bryant’s last tweet was congratulating LeBron James on passing him
– Sports world stunned over Kobe Bryant news
– Kobe Bryant dies in helicopter crash – dead at 41
Tiger Woods entered the final round of the Farmer’s Insurance Open five shots back of leader John Rahm, and the 15-time major champion could have closed the gap early in his round if not for a hole literally spitting his ball out.
After beginning his round with a bogey on the first hole, Woods hit a perfect approach shot on the Par-4 second that looked like it was going to bounce in for eagle. Actually, it did, but the problem was it didn’t stay there. You may never see this again:
⛳️ @TigerWoods nearly holed out from the fairway.
The ball went IN the hole … and came back out. pic.twitter.com/ikm21gLSju
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) January 26, 2020
It’s not uncommon for a shot to hit the flag and bounce away, but that ball was literally in the hole. While there’s nothing wrong with a tap-in birdie, Tiger was robbed of an eagle.
- Tiger Woods
Rafael Nadal won his fourth round match at the US Open on Monday night, and he captured victory in front of a packed Arthur Ashe Stadium that included one very special guest: Tiger Woods.
Woods and Nadal are both Nike-sponsored athletes in individual sports and among the best players in the history of their games. Tiger was really getting into things while cheering on his buddy:
Inject Tiger fist pumping for his buddy Nadal into my veins pic.twitter.com/wHRWVdOGsP
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) September 3, 2019
Nadal, who beat Marin Cilic 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, was asked in his post-match interview with ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi what it was like playing in front of Woods. Nadal was effusive with his praise for Woods.
"I always say that I've never had big idols, but if I have to say one idol it's him."
—Rafael Nadal on playing in front of Tiger Woods pic.twitter.com/rqaObYFzD2
— ESPN (@espn) September 3, 2019
“For me it’s a huge honor. To play in front of all of [the fans] is a huge honor, but to play in front of Tiger for me is a very special thing,” Nadal said. “I always said I never had big idols, but I have to say one idol is him. I always try to follow every shot he hit during the whole year. For me it’s a big pleasure to have him here supporting, means a lot. He’s a big legend of his sport, one of the legends of the sport. I want to congratulate him on one of the most amazing comebacks ever, winning the Masters this year.”
Rinaldi then asked Rafa if the two had ever played golf together, leading to a joke from the Spaniard.
“It’s much better if Tiger doesn’t see my swing.”
Woods was watching the match from a suite in the stadium. He was joined by his son, daughter and girlfriend Erica Herman.
The quarterfinals of the major are now set. Nadal will face Diego Schwartzman for a shot at reaching the semifinals.
Tiger Woods has enjoyed a great season in which he finally broke through and won another major, but his health is once again creating issues for him.
Woods withdrew from The Northern Trust — the first round of the FedExCup Playoffs — on Friday. The official reason listed is a “mild oblique strain that led to pain and stiffness,” which could help explain why he struggled so much at the tournament on Thursday.
Woods shot a 4-over 75 at Liberty National on Thursday. While he did not appear to show any signs of discomfort, he hinted that he was not feeling his best while speaking with reporters after the round.
“It just feels frustrating to shoot anything high no matter how I feel,” Woods said. “We had the perfect greens and had to go out there and shoot something under-par and get it going. Had to be 4-, 5-, 6-under par today. I went the other way with it.”
Tiger entered The Northern Trust 28th in the FedExCup Standings, and he is secure for the BMW Championship next week even after withdrawing. It remains to be seen if his health will cooperate enough, however.
Woods has had numerous back surgeries and dealt with several injuries in recent years, and there was some speculation that he was in pain at The Open Championship last month. He admitted more than two years ago that he will never be back to 100 percent health, so playing through injuries is something he has grown accustomed to at age 43.
- Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods has battled back from a number of significant injuries over the past several years to regain his spot as one of the top golfers in the world, and the concern that he might be hurt again began immediately at The Open Championship on Thursday.
Woods appeared to grimace on his first tee shot at Portrush. The shot was pulled and ended up in the tall fescue, so it’s possible he was just unhappy with the swing. Still, Golf Channel broadcaster Nick Faldo and others saw it as a cause for concern.
Tiger Woods is off the first tee at Royal Portrush. Little grimace after his drive. Not good. pic.twitter.com/Fm2aotBFO7
— Kyle Boone (@Kyle__Boone) July 18, 2019
For what it’s worth, Tiger ended up making an excellent par after his second shot ended up in a bunker.
Tiger has chosen not to play much since he won the Masters back in April, and that has led to speculation that he could be hurting and trying to allow himself as much recovery time as possible. When you consider what he said about his injuries a while back, it’s possible experiencing some pain from time to time is simply the norm for him at this point.
One of the greatest golfers of all time sent a gift to one of the greatest baseball players of all time.
According to media members covering the Los Angeles Angels, Mike Trout had a long box by his locker inside Angel Stadium on Thursday. The Los Angeles Daily News says the box contained two TaylorMade golf clubs.
Trout has never met Woods and was unsure how he got on the golfer’s mailing list, but he appreciated the clubs. He also told reporter JP Hoornstra that he’s a “big fan” of the golfer.
Tiger is coming off a win at the Masters last month, marking his 15th career major win and first since 2008. His huge achievement was recognized by athletes and teams across sports, with one squad even delaying things to watch him play.
Trout, a two-time AL MVP, is regarded as the best player in baseball and signed a $426 million contract extension that showed his value.
Woods, who is from Orange County (where the Angels play) is actually a Los Angeles Dodgers fan. But that probably won’t bother Trout, who has to feel good about getting a gift from the famous golfer.