ORLANDO – That $9 million duel between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson known as “The Match” was a spectacle that produced varying opinions.
Some lambasted the affair even before it started, and a number kept or pivoted to that feeling after the action (which could be watched after paying a $19.99 pay-per-view price, that is until the purchasing mechanism broke down early during play and the match was then made free to watch).
Count a certain major winner in the vicinity of that camp.
Greg Norman, the legendary two-time major champion, was getting a round in Thursday with his son, Greg Norman Jr., ahead of the PNC Father/Son Challenge – where the pair is competing together as a team starting Saturday.
When the subject of that Tiger-Phil match came up, he immediately noted that he “never watched it.” As for his interest level in the duel overall…
“I’d rather buy two shares of General Electric and invest those as long-term investments than pay $20 to watch that,” Norman quipped.
For context: General Electric has had a horrible 2018 that saw the announcement in October of its CEO being ousted. Ouch!
So Norman clearly isn’t bullish on “The Match” and what the future could bring there.
But the 63-year-old can see certain events thriving this part of the year. Norman won the 2001 Skins Game, an unofficial money event that took place in the silly season for a quarter-century (1983 to 2008).
He still feels such an event could be successful if it returned.
“I thought the Skins Game was a good thing every year because the players had to earn their way into it,” Norman said. “(‘The Match’) was just two players being invited to play. I’d like to see the Skins Game come back in some way, shape or form.”
Norman expounded here, pivoting to the fact there are a lack of mixed men’s and women’s competitions.
He pointed to the old JCPenney Classic as an example of how such events can bring intrigue, and that he hopes to see future growth in this realm.
“Those events (mixed men and women) I think should come back on the calendar,” Norman said. “We saw what Lexi Thompson did last week and the year before at the (QBE) Shootout, she did a phenomenal job. Obviously (the women) can hold their own. I’d like to see a little bit more integration with that because you see it a lot in tennis and other sports … I’d like to see something like that happen in golf too.”
Norman definitely isn’t alone in being a fan of that concept. Whether his vision of such a future will come to fruition remains to be seen.