The Match: $9m event indicates dangerous direction golf is heading

Cards on the table, I did not watch it. I had plans last Friday night and they were not going to be changed by The Match even though it carried a scary significance that stretched beyond a contest between America's two best known golfers.

Judging by the reaction to Phil Mickelson's 22nd hole victory over Tiger Woods I did not miss much.

The golf was mediocre by their standards, their much-vaunted "smack talk" was pretty dull and the destiny of the $9m (£7m) was settled by a 93-yard pitch and putt.

But this contrived contest offered a glimpse of where professional golf is headed. The destination looks terribly tawdry and potentially downright dangerous.

This was nothing more than a desperate attempt to make a quick buck. Never mind the $19.99 television charge, the most significant ground broken by this pay-per-view pantomime was the wager culture it promoted.

Changing odds were constantly updated as MGM's gambling app offered an assortment of "in-play" punts. The telecast featured betting experts effectively promoting the idea that the only way to enjoy the golf was to have some money on it.

Read more here.