Last Saturday’s continuous wet weather saw Sideline Sid ditch any plans to go outdoors and instead hit the on button on the television.

First up was the televised battle from the Shadow Creek Golf Club in Las Vegas dubbed The Match - Tiger v Phil. It was a  shootout between two of the most recognised names in world golf going head to head for USD $9 million (NZ $13.3 million) in a winner-take-all contest.

What started out as casual viewing flicking between channels, turned into a five-hour marathon as Tiger and Phil fought tooth and nail for 22 holes before a winner was declared.

It took a while for the momentum to build but from around hole twelve the intensity ratcheted up. The left-handed Mickelson looked to have the match in the bag on the 17th hole before Tiger pulled out a miracle chip-in from off the green to square the match with one hole to play.

The pair halved the 18th before replaying the last hole again with no change to the match. With day quickly turning to night in the desert, the players hit off the putting green to the 18th green, 93 metres away, to decide it under lights installed to ensure a result.

It took three attempts before Tiger overshot the green and Phil slotted his putt to pick up the barrel of money on the 22nd hole.

The event was certainly well staged, with both players and their caddies wired up for viewers to get a rare insight into their comments and reactions. A number of large side bets between the pair kept the interest going, with Mickelson eventually winning an extra USD $400,000 (NZ $590,700) that was donated to charity.

The event was billed as the world’s first PPV (Pay per View) golf event with customers in the US having to shell out nearly 20 bucks to watch. While we received it free in New Zealand on Sky Television, it turned into a disaster in America.

The coverage experienced technical problems with many viewers unable to receive the PPV feed. In the end the promoters resorted to sending out links on social media, allowing the punters to view for free on computers and mobile devices.

Meanwhile flicking through channels during the dull moments, Sid stumbled on the Junior White Ferns quarter-final at the FIFA Women’s Under 17 World Cup being played in Uruguay.

The Kiwis were given little chance against Japan. After going into extra time at 1-1, the deadlock was not split leading to a penalty shootout.

Cool as a cucumber, Kiwi goalie Anna Leat blocked the first Japan penalty kick to take an early lead. She then stepped up to nail the winning penalty to set up a semi-final with Spain and a place in New Zealand football history.

Sideline Sid
Sports correspondent & historian