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November 23, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
JOHN BUSH: All right, we will get started. My name is John Bush from PGA TOUR communication. What a day here at Capital One's The Match.
First of all like to say congratulations to both guys. What a show you put on.
But congratulations to Phil Mickelson, our champion. Phil, if we can get some thoughts, please.
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't even know where to start. It's been such as amazing day and so much work by so many people to put this together.
I am so appreciative of the last 20 plus years what you've done for the game of golf, and to give me this opportunity to go head-to-head means a lot to me.
This has been very special. I know big picture your career is the greatest of all-time. I've seen you things that are just remarkable. But just know I will not ever let you live this one down. I will bring if up every time I see you. I will wear this belt buckle every time I see you. It's not the Masters, it's not the U.S. Open, I know, but it's something. It's just nice to have a little something on you.
JOHN BUSH: Tiger, not the result you wanted, but just get some comments on the match, please.
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, it was an entertaining match. I mean, we went out there and played hard. I had plenty of opportunities to make putts today and I didn't make any putts to put a little pressure on Phil.
I had an opportunity on the last hole to win the match and I hit a bad putt, and then in extra holes -- how do you not hit a green with lob wedge? Twice.
So that was an opportunity this went wasted. Phil capitalized on it.
JOHN BUSH: Questions.
Q. For both guys, the level of pressure you felt on the last few holes, we heard a lot of heavy sighs. Is this the most pressure or how would you...
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, we feel just as much or more pressure in our team events when we represent our country. Sometime that gets the best out of the us and sometimes it doesn't.
But I felt -- I had a lot more -- this meant a lot to me, because, again, in the big picture nothing is going to detract from the career and accomplishments he's had. For me to have a little something on him like this means a lot to me.
I felt so much pressure these last couple days as we had the buildup to it, from hole one. The good thing for me is when I get nervous I'm better talking, and that, I think, helped in that we were mic'd and it's okay to talk; it was okay to engage Tiger.
When we've play in the past, you give me the -- (holding hand up) -- this. Like, you know, like leave you alone, and I do. (Laughter.)
But it was nice to be able to talk for me because it relaxes me a little bit.
Q. (No microphone.)
TIGER WOODS: It was pressure because I was -- I had flipped the match. I was 1-down and all of a sudden I went to 1-up. I made a bogey with a wedge in my hand, which was not very good. Now next thing you know I have a chance to lose the match 2-1 on 17.
So it was a shot that I needed to hole. And, yeah, absolutely I felt pressure. It was a must-make chip to have a chance to not have it on Phil's putter there. To be able to hole this chip felt good, and then got it to the last hole and I had a chance to win the match there.
I very easy uphill left-to-right putt and I hit a poor putt.
Q. This is now one of the biggest sports spectacles in Las Vegas history. Hype leading up to it for months and months. Some people loved it and some people had some other things to say. Looking back, how would you summarize the match that just happened and the differing opinions that were out there?
TIGER WOODS: I think that everyone certainly had their way of looking at the match, and I just think that everyone was entitled to it.
We were there to play head-to-head and do something that's never been done before; lo and behold, here we are going to extra holes and we're under the lights. You couldn't have made this event any better than it was.
We were going back and forth. Phil had the lead, I had the lead. It flipped, and next thing you know we go to the last hole. It was back and forth, very competitive, on a golf course that was playing a little bit on the tricky side. They had some dicey little pins in there. We had to be little on the careful side.
PHIL MICKELSON: I just think that we've wanted to have head-to-head matches like this, and the way the day played out where we played some really good golf, this is very encouraging to me, too, because I drove the ball like a stallion. (Laughter.) That gives me a lot of -- you know, if I can drive the ball well in the next year, next couple of years, I've I'm very optimistic about what that holds.
So this was a very good day for me. I thought we played some very good golf. We had the opportunity to go head-to-head and it was back and forth. I think it was exciting. We felt the pressure.
Might not be the Masters, the U.S. Open, what have you in the past, but we felt the pressure. I thought that this was a good opportunity now for us to head into next year and continue this on Sundays.
Q. For both Phil and Tiger, where do you see the side challenges headed moving forward? Should they be allowed in regular tour events or should they be...
PHIL MICKELSON: No, no, no, I don't think so. Do you?
TIGER WOODS: No. Absolutely not. No.
PHIL MICKELSON: Because in a regular tour event it's not match play. It's not head-to-head. It's 150 people in a field; it's stroke play. Maybe at the match play event you could do stuff like what, but I don't think it's necessarily best thing.
For something like this I think it adds to the competition mand I think a lot of people -- maybe not for those amounts -- but I think they end doing things like that on the course. It had that flavor of a practice round for us, just with a lot more at stake.
Q. Realizing that we're kind of still in the moment, just few minutes removed from this one, do you foresee sort of a Pandora's Box opening up of further events like this?
PHIL MICKELSON: I think we need to wait and see how people liked it or not. This was really fun for me, some of the most fun I've had on a golf course being able to play with you, against you, compete, side challenges.
TIGER WOODS: Yep.
PHIL MICKELSON: This was a lot of fun in addition to a lot of pressure. I guess it will depend on if people enjoyed it and want more, but I don't know what that is right now. I just know that today was a really a special, fun day.
Q. Tiger, Phil mentioned the fact that you guys have been paired together a lot in the past, but it's never been that kind of banter between you two. Did you enjoy that? Is that something that you missed?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I did. This is the kind of banter that we have when we play practice rounds. We give each other the needle the entire time. Today was a little bit different because we had banter here and there, but I don't know about Phil, but I got lost in the competition of things.
I got, you know, focused on trying to hit a shot, to put heat on Phil, to put a ball on a green, to make putts. I got lost in the heat of the competition, which in hindsight looking back, that was fun to lose myself there in the heat of the moment in a competitive scenario against Phil.
We've been doing this for so long. It reminded me of old times to go head-to-head against one another and to go back and forth. That the thing with this match, it was going back and forth and nobody really had control of the match.
Q. Tiger, the putt you gave Phil on 1 and then Phil you gave Tiger a putt I believe the first playoff hole. Was the thought process you really don't want to win this making par?
TIGER WOODS: I made my putt on the last hole. For all what this has been I didn't want to win it like that. I certainly did not want to see Phil have an opportunity to not make it.
I just didn't -- wasn't right, you know? This was a match in which you need to make birdie in order to win. I just felt that we needed to continue this thing and make birdies. I didn't the first couple holes and Phil did obviously to win it, and that's how this match should have ended.
Q. Tiger, just curious, where you are right now with your game? Obviously this is one day; first time you've competed since Ryder Cup; you took a bunch of time off. Where you in ramping things back up?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I've tried to keep myself sharp in the last month or so. I needed a break away from the game to physically get myself a little bit stronger and refreshed; I was able to do that.
I'm still probably trending on the way upward; getting sharp. This was fun to play a match play and not have to worry about making a 7 or 8 on the hole. That was good, and hit it into next week and stroke play event.
Q. I was just wondering, maybe in the big picture of things what something like this could do for the game of golf to get some new eyes on the sport. Do you think that was maybe achieved? Maybe the millennials?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't know if we really were thinking that much down the line or that big picture. I just think we wanted to have an opportunity to go head-to-head with a lot of pressure on it. It was a bit of a risk to let people in and be mic'd and have our caddies mic'd and let them know what the conversations are and what our conversations are.
It was a bit of a risk because it's intrusive from a player's standpoint, but I think it went -- from our standpoint I think it went well. I think we enjoyed it. I'm curious to see how it was received and how the people enjoyed it.
But maybe in the big picture that will be something that people are interested in and want more of and bring people to the game and what have you. I don't know if we had that big a picture in mind. We were just trying to do something special, unique, different.
I also think with two guys we were able to break the old school mold of a telecast presentation. I'm curious to see how some of the drone shots and some of the mic's and roaming cameras, curious to see how that turned about, because it's all about creating a better viewing experience for the viewers as we continue down this road with sports.
Q. For either of you, it's pretty unique for a daytime event to go to twilight and end up under the flood lights. It was dramatic on TV. Did it help add anything to the experience of it for either of you?
TIGER WOODS: I tell you what, for me it was hard to see the putts. I called Joey on every single putt coming home. I had a hard time with the low light as we were finishing to try and see my lines. I needed some confirmation from Joey.
I think we read them pretty good. Hit decent putts coming in, but didn't hit them -- hit great putts that should have gone in.
Q. For both you guys, along the same lines, you finished by playing pitch shots off a practice putting green under the lights for $9 million. At some point did you get that out of your mind, or sort of seem surreal the whole time?
TIGER WOODS: I was just focused on trying to make birdie and beat Phil. That what's I was focused on. I know there was a lot of money at stake the entire day, but as I said earlier, I got lost in the competition of trying to win this match and trying to beat Phil.
I think that was a good thing just driving me to make birdies, to hit shots, and just focus on trying to, obviously, win the match and one up.
JOHN BUSH: Final comments from you, Phil.
PHIL MICKELSON: Just a very special day and something I'll always be appreciative of the opportunity, appreciative of the 25-plus career that I've had, appreciative of what you've down to propel the sport from where it was when I started to where it is now.
To have my family here with me today. I haven't seen my older daughter. She's been in college. She's been here this week. It's been awesome to see Amanda. I've just missed everybody. To be able to share in a special day like this.
Again, doesn't take anything away from the career and everything you've accomplished. Just gives me just a little bit of something extra to bring up next time I see you.
JOHN BUSH: Gentlemen, excellent show. Thank you both for your time. (Applause).
PHIL MICKELSON: Thank you.
TIGER WOODS: Thank you.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports