Tiger Woods ain't what he used to be. At least, not on the golf course. After a handful of back surgeries and loads of off-the-course trouble, the all-time great golfer has yet to return to his top form. His last win on the course was the 2013 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and his last major the 2008 U.S. Open.
But there are indications that the 42-year-old is rounding back into shape, starting with the return of his out-sized confidence. Woods has never been shy about declaring his own greatness and a clip from a recent clinic shows that his ego is as strong as it ever was.
While speaking to a group of golfers and explaining to them that they shouldn't worry about their competitors, he said this:
"I can't control you. The only thing I can control is me. Now, if I do this more efficiently than you, if you get intimidated that's your own fucking issue."
Now, a group of golfers at a Tiger Woods clinic may in fact be intimated by their hero. But other golfers on the PGA Tour are unlikely to fear him.
In his 12 events since returning to the links last year, his best finish is tied for second.
At this point in his career, Woods might have more success, and more fun, if he sticks to novelty matches, like that $10 million match play event he and Phil Mickelson are planning.
The idea for the event, which would see the two legends face off in an 18-hole, winner-take-all showdown, was born back at the Masters, when Woods and Mickelson met for a high-profile practice round. A month later, Mickelson teased it with a little trash talk:
"The excitement that's been going on around here, it gets me thinking: Why don't we just bypass all the ancillary stuff of a tournament and just go head-to-head and just have kind of a high-stakes, winner-take-all match.
Now, I don't know if he wants a piece of me, but I just think it would be something that would be really fun for us to do, and I think there would be a lot of interest in it if we just went straight to the final round."
Earlier this month it was reported that the initial date for the event, July 3, fell through. But now Woods is saying that negotiations to make it happen are ongoing.
"We are still working on it," he said. "It's not there yet, but certainly we are working on it and trying to make it happen."
Meanwhile, you can already start betting on the details of golf's buzziest megamatch.
SportsBettingDime.com posted odds and props on the proposed $10 million showdown. The early favorite is Woods, with the 14-time major winner opening at 2/3, with Mickelson coming in at 3/2. The spread is listed in Woods' corner at -1.5 holes.
Other prop bets, courtesy of Golf Digest, include the following:
—When the match will occur: August 12/1, September 8/1, October 5/2, November 7/3, December 5/1, 2019 16/1. Our recommendation is to hit November hard.
—Red 3/1, White 3/1, Black 4/1, Field 7/3. If you need this defined, you're at the wrong website.
—Odds of a Hole in One by either player: 399/1. Phil is definitely dropping a sawbuck on this.
—Odds a penalty stroke is assessed to either player: 25/1. Well, Phil is involved, so...
—Odds on Broadcast Network. YouTube at 199/1 is very, very interesting.
—Odds Where They Play: Nevada 5/3, California 5/1, Hawaii 8/1, New York 10/1, Arizona 12/1, FIELD 4/1. Alan Shipnuck's report stated Shadow Creek was the original site, but don't be surprised if a more fan-friendly venue in California is picked.
—Odds of the largest bet placed on either player in Vegas: $49,999. Does this count competitors wagering on themselves?
Who you got?