Tiger Woods shares what could have made The Match vs. Phil even better

NASSAU, Bahamas — Play better.

That was the blunt response from Tiger Woods on Tuesday about The Match, the well-hyped, $9-million duel in the Las Vegas desert that he lost to Phil Mickelson. The event, which finished under floodlights on the 22nd hole at Shadow Creek Golf Club the day after Thanksgiving, was panned in many golf circles for being underwhelming, the most biting criticism directed at the players’ performance, the lack of betting challenges between the two, and the abundant voices announcing golf’s first pay-per-view.

If there's to be The Match II and beyond, Woods said the play on the golf course needs to match the hype leading into the telecast.

“We need to play better,” Woods said at the Hero World Challenge, his annual event at the Albany Golf Club which begins Thursday and brings together 18 of the best players in the world. The Hero benefits his foundation.

“I wish we both would have played better, but neither one of us putted well that day and there were some tough hole locations out there,” Woods added. “So maybe going forward, we just don't quite have the greens so fast or the pins so difficult. But also, as short as the golf course was playing, we should have made at least seven, eight birdies apiece. We just did not.”

Overall, Woods said the feedback he’s heard has been positive.

“There's some things in which we can make it better for the viewer,” Woods said. “I think a lot of people tuned in — well, tried to tune in — and then ended up watching. Obviously, there's some things we can do as far as interaction and as far as play.”

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