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Tiger, Mickelson in talks for $10-M duel

MIAMI (AFP) – Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are in talks to stage a $10 million winner-take-all 18-hole golf showdown, according to a report on the Golf.com website.

Plans to stage the made-for-television event on July 3 in Las Vegas fell through, according to the report, but representatives for 14-time major champion Woods and five-time major winner Mickelson remain committed to making it happen.

“We’re working on a different date,” Mickelson said. “I thought it was done for the third but obviously it wasn’t.”

Mickelson, a 48-year-old left-hander, and Woods, a 42-year-old with 79 US PGA titles who hasn’t won an event since 2013, played together in a rare practice round at Augusta National ahead of the Masters in April. They were also paired together in May for the first two rounds of the Players Championship.

“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,’’ Mickelson said at the Florida event.

“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.’’

Talks were well under way for just such a matchup, according to the report, with Woods playing along, saying, “I’m definitely not against that. We’ll play for whatever makes him uncomfortable.’’

Mickelson says with so much money on the line, even millionaires will be out of their comfort zone.

KRAFT GRABS LEAD

In Washington, Kelly Kraft, seeking a first US PGA Tour title, fired a seven-under par 63 on Friday to take a one-shot lead over Anirban Lahiri and Webb Simpson at the Greenbrier Classic.

India’s Lahiri had set an early target with a nine-under par 61 on the mountain resort course in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.

That propelled the 31-year-old world number 99 into a tie with 2012 US Open champion Simpson, who followed his first-round 61 with a 67.

Kraft overhauled them both with a round that included eight birdies and headed into the weekend with a 13-under total of 127.

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