Column: The real measure of Tiger vs. Phil is how many watch


The winner between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson might be the least relevant aspect of their Friday night match in Las Vegas.

Far more compelling was the outcome of a 72-hole exhibition played over two courses for an obscene amount of money — Harry Vardon received nearly seven times more than what he had won from his one-shot victory over Willie Park Jr. in the 1898 British Open.

That next summer, Vardon and Park played an exhibition billed by the British press as the greatest golf competition ever. Vardon won 100 British pounds with his 2-up advantage at North Berwick before 10,000 spectators, and another 100 pounds for completing the 11-and-10 rout at his home course of Ganton.

So Woods vs. Mickelson is nothing new, except the public is not allowed at Shadow Creek.

What’s unique about this exhibition,…



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