Darren Gough: Tiger Woods versus Phil Mickelson leaves me gobsmacked

THERE was a lot of publicity regarding the pay-per-view duel between Phil Mickleson and Tiger Woods that took place at Shadow Creek Golf Club in Las Vegas.

Phil Mickelson, left, and Tiger Woods face off during a news conference at Shadow Creek Golf Course in North Las Vegas. (Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun via AP)

You have to ask – is this the future of golf?

I love my golf, but from start to finish, this whole thing has been like a scripted film for me.

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In terms of the prize money, the PGA objected to it being $10m as it would have matched their FedEx play-off cheque, so it went down to $9m.

Phil Mickelson, left, and Tiger Woods speak during a news conference at Shadow Creek Golf Course in North Las Vegas. (Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun via AP)

The organisers were trying to attract a ‘new audience’. Which basically means people who do not watch golf and they went for the two highest profile golfers who apparently used to hate each other, but are now like best mates.

But if it sold well, then this might just be a glimpse into the future of golf over there, although it is not one that we should want to see.

Why would a golfer want to play four rounds with the pressure of making the cut and then the pressure of making the top 20 to get a decent cheque, when he can play against someone else and maybe get £9m in the bank?

You only have to win one competition a year.

The worst thing about it for me, which left me totally gobsmacked, is that there was no real atmosphere.

Part of golf is going up the 18th hole with a load of people following you and a grandstand clapping you in and taking your cap off. That is what golf is all about.

There were no tickets to the public and it was just select sponsors and VIPs. I know it was for charity, but they were also openly encouraging the guys to gamble too on a live broadcast.

The greatest golf event for me is the Ryder Cup and there is no money involved and it is about the PGA Tour against the European Tour. It is just all about the glory; Europe versus the USA.

People everywhere around the world love it.

If they do this other sort of event again, I just hope it is one-game-per-year and restricted to that. What I would like to see is the best player on the PGA Tour playing against the best on the European Tour as a reward for their work during the year. Let them play for the $9million.

That is thing I believe should happen in terms of the format going forward.