Phil Mickelson hinted at another showdown with superstar Tiger Woods, claiming he was "working on it".

Mickelson landed $9million in prize money after defeating arch-rival Woods on the fourth play-off hole of 'The Match' in 2018.

The big-money two-man clash in Las Vegas attracted plenty of attention over the Thanksgiving weekend.

With the PGA Tour on hiatus until at least the end of May due to the coronavirus pandemic, fans are desperate for their sport fix.

One golf supporter asked Mickelson on Twitter: "Do you think there is a chance you two go play a round mic'd up with one camera guy and just put it out there on a stream for people to watch?? We need live sports".

In response, five-time major champion Mickelson replied: "Working on it".

"I don't tease. I'm kinda a sure thing," Mickelson said when pressed on whether he was being serious.

It remains to be seen whether Mickelson was referring to a second instalment of 'The Match' or something different to help fill the void amid the COVID-19 crisis.

 

March 25, 2013 proved a momentous day for Tiger Woods following a rocky few years.

An all-time golf great, Woods' career appeared to be spiralling out of control towards the end of the 2000s.

But he was back at the top of the pile in March 2013, signalling an impressive renaissance.

It was also a notable – albeit controversial – day for Mike Tyson back in 1995, as the infamous boxer was released from prison after being convicted of rape in 1992.

Below, we look at those and the other major events to happen in the sporting world on March 25.

 

1958 - Sugar Ray Robinson claims historic fifth title

The phrase "pound-for-pound" essentially came into being because of Sugar Ray Robinson – a fighter whose performances in the welterweight and middleweight divisions earned him renown. A professional boxer in the 1940s, 50s and 60s, Robinson is regarded by many as the greatest of all-time and on this day in 1958 he became the first in history to win a world championship five times when he defeated Carmen Basilio.

1982 - Wayne Gretzky reaches 200 points for season

Wayne Gretzky's influence on ice hockey is unrivalled and he remains comfortably NHL's all-time leading points (goals and assists) scorer in history, with 2,857 – more than 900 clear of his closest challenger Jaromir Jagr. One of his finest accomplishments was becoming the first player to rack up 200 points in a single season during 1981-81, helping Edmonton Oilers to their first NHL title. He reached 200 with an assist early on against Calgary Flames, before adding another three points in that encounter. Gretzky finished the season with 212, 107 more than anyone else on the team.

1995 - Mike Tyson released from jail

After serving less than half of his six-year sentence for rape, Mike Tyson was released on March 25, 1995. He went on to ease through comeback fights against Peter McNeeley and Buster Mathis Jr, with Tyson's management accused of organising "tomato cans" to secure straightforward victories upon his return.

2013 - Tiger Woods regains world no.1 spot

After dominating golf in the 2000s, Woods endured a turbulent period from late 2009. Persistent injury problems, issues in his private life and struggles with a new swing all played a part in Woods dropping to 58th in November 2011. In March 2013, he was back on top thanks to victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, beating Justin Rose by two strokes.

2018 - Steve Smith punished for sandpaper gate

In March 2018, some Australia players were caught out in arguably the most infamous cricketing scandal ever. After admitting involvement in Cameron Bancroft's attempts at ball-tampering with sandpaper, captain Steve Smith was handed a one-match ban and fined 100 per cent of his fee by the International Cricket Council on March 25. That was just the tip of the iceberg, however. Smith and vice-captain David Warner were both banned for a year by Cricket Australia (CA), while Bancroft was given a nine-month suspension for his part in what CA labelled "cheating".

The coronavirus pandemic has put a stop to practically all elite sport across the globe.

From the Premier League to the French Open, the Masters to the NBA, teams and sports stars are having to contend with postponements and even cancellations. 

While potential dates for action to resume have been announced across some sports and events, they are at best speculative. Nobody can say for sure when normal service will resume this year.

This unprecedented state of affairs has left the world of sport in limbo, but there are some who will be more anxious to get back to business than others.

Here, we take a look at some of those clubs and individuals who were on the brink of achieving long-pursued dreams before a global health crisis brought things to a grinding halt.

 

LIVERPOOL'S 30 YEARS OF HURT

There was a time when Liverpool were the dominant force in English football.

When, in 1990, the Reds were crowned champions of England for the 18th time, few could have envisaged the drought that would follow.

The Anfield club have not finished top of the pile since, yet looked destined to end that barren spell after their phenomenal charge to the summit this season. Not even Pep Guardiola's Manchester City could keep up.

With Jurgen Klopp's side sitting 25 points clear and requiring just two more wins to seal the Premier League title, their pursuit of glory has been suspended indefinitely. How much longer will the red half of Merseyside have to wait?

BUCKS' LUCK IS OUT

The Milwaukee Bucks were crowned NBA champions in 1971 and since then... nothing.

That was just the Bucks' third season in existence, but they have not managed to scale those heights in the following 49 years.

It is not like they have failed to challenge, though, as Milwaukee have won their division 13 times during this title drought, including last year.

They crashed out to the Toronto Raptors in the 2019 Eastern Conference Finals to prolong the heartbreak, surrendering a two-game lead to lose 4-2 in the series, but the Bucks were leading the way in the standings before the pandemic-enforced postponement of the season.

 

NADAL CAN'T CATCH FEDERER... YET

Rafael Nadal needs one more grand slam victory to move level with Roger Federer, and potentially swing the debate over the greatest tennis player of all time.

The Spaniard is on 19 and would have been the clear favourite to win a 13th French Open title before the tournament was delayed until September.

What's more, Federer was initially set to miss out on competing at Roland Garros through injury.

It appears his status as the putative GOAT of the men's game is safe - for the time being at least.

SERENA CAN FEEL NADAL'S PAIN

For Serena Williams, the wait to join Margaret Court on 24 slams has been long and painful enough.

Attempting to equal the record is a long-held goal for the American, who nonetheless faces scant opposition to claim the crown of the GOAT of the women's game.

She last triumphed in one of the sport's four headline events in 2017, claiming the Australian Open.

However, she has since lost four finals and, at 38, the uncertainty over the schedule means time is ebbing away. 

 

TIGER STILL CHASING NICKLAUS

There was a time when it seemed certain Tiger Woods would overtake Jack Nicklaus' major tally.

Woods reached 14 – four behind Nicklaus – in 2008, but injuries and personal issues forced his life and career off the rails.

He ended his lean run in 2019 with victory at the Masters, but this year's tournament at Augusta has fallen victim to the pandemic.

Now 44, Woods is facing a battle to hold off Father Time and chase down that elusive tally of 18 major triumphs.

Tiger Woods faces a race against time to be fit for his Masters title defence after opting out of next week's Players Championship.

The 15-time major winner has not played on the PGA Tour since he finished a lowly 68th - last of all players who made the cut - at the Genesis Open three weeks ago.

He elected to skip the WGC-Mexico Championship and this week's Arnold Palmer Invitational, due to a stiff back.

And the back remains an issue for 44-year-old Woods, who will be determined to line up for the year's first major at Augusta, with the Masters getting under way on April 9.

The Players Championship, which runs from March 12-15 at Sawgrass, has come too soon, however.

His agent, Mark Steinberg, told ESPN: "Back just not ready. Not concerning long term, just not ready."

Woods has gone through four back operations to sustain one of sport's great careers, the procedures allowing him last year to end an 11-year title drought at the majors with a stunning victory.

A subsequent success at the Zozo Championship in October took Woods to 82 wins on the PGA Tour, tying Sam Snead for the all-time record.

Tiger Woods is among the 10 finalists put forward for the 2021 World Golf Hall of Fame.

All-time great Woods is one of four male candidates, with three-time major Padraig Harrington also nominated alongside American duo Johnny Farrell and Tom Weiskopf.

Woods won his 15th major title at last year's Masters, which ended an 11-year drought to win one of golf's big four.

Susie Maxwell Berning, Beverly Hanson, Sandra Palmer and Dottie Pepper are the female candidates put forward, while Tim Finchem and Marion Hollins complete the 10 in the contributor section.

A player or contributor requires 75 per cent approval of the selection committee to make the Hall of Fame.

The age of eligibility was lowered from 50 to 45, meaning Woods qualifies in December.

"The nominating committee has selected 10 finalists who represent the highest caliber of golfers and contributors," said Greg McLaughlin, CEO of World Golf Foundation. 

"The recent enhancements to the World Golf Hall of Fame Induction criteria provide a great process to ensure the most worthy of candidates are being considered. 

"We are grateful to the nominating committee for their work and anticipate the class of 2021 being one of our strongest to date."

Tiger Woods will skip the Arnold Palmer Invitational for the second consecutive year, his agent has confirmed.

Woods, who pulled out shortly shortly before the 2019 tournament with a neck strain, is dealing with a stiff back and will not travel to Bay Hill next week.

The 15-time major champion finished last among those to make the cut at the Genesis Invitational earlier in February and subsequently missed the WGC-Mexico Championship.

"He is not going to play [at Bay Hill]," Woods' agent Mark Steinberg told ESPN. "Back [is] still stiff and [he is] just not quite ready."

Woods has won the Arnold Palmer Invitational on four occasions, but his focus should now turn to the Players Championship on March 12.

Tiger Woods explained he "was just off" as he digested finishing in last place of the 68 players to make the cut at the Genesis Invitational.

Champion Adam Scott finished 22 shots ahead of Woods, who ended round four at the bottom of the leaderboard for only the second time in his distinguished PGA Tour career.

The American, who has opted to not play the WGC-Mexico Championship after saying he was feeling "run-down", finished on 11 over par after disappointing rounds of 76 and 77 over the weekend.

But while Woods was frustrated with his performance at Riviera Country Club, the 44-year-old explained he has a new sense of perspective these days, and even showed his sense of humour.

"I was just off, it happens," Woods told reporters.

"I'm off and I have got a chance to have the week off on Monday and do a little prep, a little practicing, some training, be at home and all positive things.

"I did not do much well. Good news, I hit every ball forward, not backwards, a couple sideways! But overall, I'm done.

"I've been in this position many times, unfortunately. Just keep fighting hole by hole, shot by shot and try to make some birdies, which I did not do.

"It's still disappointing, it's still frustrating, I'm still a little ticked.

"But this part of my career really didn't exist a few years ago, so to be able to do that [play] no matter what I shoot, I also look at it from a perspective which I didn't do most of my career, that I have a chance to play going down the road.

"A few years ago, that wasn't the case."

Woods was asked if he wished he had the same level of perspective in his younger years.

He added: "Earlier in my career I figured I would have another 30 years of doing it, 40 years. Look at most of the players that have had pretty solid careers, three to four decades in our sport.

"So yeah, I thought I had a long time to be able to do this. I think it's year 23 now, that is a long time, but it's been pretty good."

Woods was the tournament host in California and while his personal performance, which included a four-putt for the second straight start, was not positive, he was thrilled with how everything else had gone.

"From a tournament perspective, it couldn't be any better," he said of the event, which had Invitational status for the first time.

"We've had perfect weather, people have come out and supported this event.

"Our elevation, being a part of the new Invitational status, look at the players that come out and supported this event that have played this week, we couldn't have asked for a more dream scenario.

"The golf course was fantastic. Everything couldn't have been any better from that side."

Woods remains level with Sam Snead on 82 PGA Tour titles, the all-time record, and has not confirmed his next tournament, with the Honda Classic and Arnold Palmer Invitational among his options in the coming weeks.

Adam Scott ended a four-year wait for victory on the PGA Tour with a two-stroke win at the Genesis Invitational on Sunday.

The Australian secured his 14th PGA Tour win and first since March 2016 with his success at the Riviera Country Club in California.

Scott, 39, carded a one-under 70 in the final round to finish at 11 under.

Winner of the tournament in 2005 and a two-time runner-up, Scott mixed five birdies with two bogeys and a double bogey in the deciding round.

"It's amazing. I've loved this place from day one and it was tough out there today," he told CBS after his win.

"But the crowd is incredible, I feel like they're on my side here believe it or not and I'm stoked with this."

Scott finished two shots clear of Sung Kang (69), Scott Brown (68) and Matt Kuchar (72).

Rory McIlroy and Kuchar faltered after entering the final round in a three-way tie for the lead with Scott.

World number one McIlroy struggled to a two-over 73 that included a triple bogey at the par-four fifth hole.

McIlroy finished tied for fifth alongside Bryson DeChambeau (69), Max Homa (70) and Joel Dahmen (71), while Dustin Johnson (72) was tied for 10th.

Tiger Woods, whose foundation hosted the event, fired a final-round 77 that saw him finish at 11 over and in 68th.

Lionel Messi and Liverpool are among the front-runners for prizes at the prestigious Laureus World Sports Awards in Berlin on Monday.

Liverpool are up for two gongs after a wonderful year, as they won the 2018-19 Champions League and took a massive leap towards a first top-flight title in 30 years.

Jurgen Klopp's side look set to break a host of records this season, as they have dropped points in just one of their 25 matches and hold a remarkable 22-point lead over defending champions Manchester City in second.

The Reds are in the running for two prizes in the Laureus Sports Awards' 20th anniversary gala – World Team of the Year and Comeback of the Year, the latter on account of their astonishing Champions League semi-final turnaround at the expense of Barcelona.

Among those challenging Liverpool for the former are the United States' Women's football team and the Toronto Raptors, who became the first Canadian franchise win an NBA championship.

A selection of sporting superstars are up for the Sportsman of the Year award, with Barcelona and Argentina icon Lionel Messi among them following his record-breaking sixth Ballon d'Or.

Also in the running is Eliud Kipchoge after the Kenyan became the first athlete to run a marathon in under two hours last October, covering the 26.2 miles in one hour, 59 minutes and 40.2 seconds in Vienna.

Ballon d'Or Feminin winner Megan Rapinoe is among those in the hunt for the Sportswoman of the Year gong, although gymnast Simone Biles also has a compelling case.

The 22-year-old last year won five gold medals at the World Championships to become the most decorated gymnast in the event's history, and has won this award twice before, in 2019 and 2017.

The event will take place at the Verti Music Hall in Berlin on Monday. Below is a complete list of the awards up for grabs and the athletes nominated.

Sportsman of the Year

Eliud Kipchoge – Athletics
Lewis Hamilton – Formula One
Lionel Messi – Football
Marc Marquez – MotoGP
Rafael Nadal – Tennis
Tiger Woods – Golf

Sportswoman of the Year

Allyson Felix – Athletics
Megan Rapinoe – Football
Mikaela Shiffrin – Skiing
Naomi Osaka – Tennis
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce – Athletics
Simone Biles – Gymnastics

 

Team of the Year

Liverpool – Football
Mercedes-AMG – Formula One
South Africa – Rugby Union
Spain – Basketball
Toronto Raptors – Basketball
United States Women – Football

Breakthrough of the Year

Andy Ruiz – Boxing
Bianca Andreescu – Tennis
Coco Gauff – Tennis
Egan Bernal – Cycling
Japan – Rugby Union
Regan Smith – Swimming

 

Comeback of the Year

Andy Murray – Tennis
Christian Lealiifano – Rugby Union
Kawhi Leonard – Basketball
Liverpool – Football
Nathan Adrian – Swimming
Sophia Florsch – Formula Three

Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability

Alice Tai – Swimming
Diede de Groot – Wheelchair Tennis
Jetze Plat – Triathlon
Manuela Schar – Wheelchair Racing
Oksana Masters – Cross Country Skiing
Omara Durand – Athletics

 

Action Sportsperson of the year

Carissa Moore – Surfing
Chloe Kim – Snowboarding
Italo Ferreira – Surfing
Mark McMorris – Snowboarding
Nyjah Huston – Skateboarding
Rayssa Leal – Skateboarding

Matt Kuchar is two shots clear at the halfway mark of the Genesis Invitational, while Rory McIlroy remains in contention.

Having opened with a 64, Kuchar carded a two-under 69 to move into nine under at the Riviera Country Club in California on Friday.

The American mixed four birdies with two bogeys and sits ahead of McIlroy (67), Harold Varner III (68) and Wyndham Clark (68).

McIlroy, the world number one, produced another fine round, which included six birdies and two bogeys.

The Northern Irishman capitalised on the three par-fives – the first, 11th and 17th holes – by birdieing each.

It is a congested chasing pack, with Sung Kang (67), Adam Scott (64), Vaughn Taylor (67) and Russell Henley (69) tied for fifth at six under.

The 2005 champion and a two-time runner-up, Scott's round was the day's best as the Australian holed seven birdies – including four on his final six holes.

Tiger Woods, whose foundation hosts the tournament, battled to a two-over 73 to fall back to a tie for 45th.

The 15-time major champion is joined at even par by Jordan Spieth (70) and Brooks Koepka (73).

Dustin Johnson is in a far better position after shooting a five-under 66 that lifted him into a share of 11th place alongside nine others, including defending champion J.B. Holmes (69).

Matt Kuchar earned a three-stroke lead after the opening round of the Genesis Invitational, where Tiger Woods started hot but faded.

American golfer Kuchar carded a seven-under-par 64 to set the early pace at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades on Thursday.

Kuchar – who was part of Tiger Woods' triumphant Presidents Cup team in Melbourne in December – is without a solo victory since the 2019 Sony Open in Hawaii more than a year ago.

But Kuchar made a strong start in California, where the nine-time PGA Tour champion was bogey-free as he holed seven birdies to top the leaderboard ahead of Lee Kyoung-hoon, Russell Henley, Wyndham Clark, Adam Schenk and Harold Varner III.

It is a star-studded field for the invitational event – one of only five tournaments given that status by the PGA Tour – and four-time major champion Rory McIlroy is in contention.

World number one McIlroy recorded two eagles, a pair of bogeys and a birdie for a three-under-par 68 on day one.

McIlroy headlines a group of 10 players tied for seventh, including Jason Day and Patrick Reed.

Woods is a stroke further back after the 15-time major winner faltered following a bright start in his pursuit of a maiden Genesis Invitational trophy.

The American superstar made an eagle on his first hole, opening a tournament with an eagle for just the second time since 2003 – the fourth of his career at Riviera.

Woods holed two birdies on a flawless front nine before fading after the turn, with the veteran bogeying twice – including the last for a two-under-par 69.

Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant – who tragically died in a helicopter crash along with his 13-year-old daughter Giannia and seven other victims last month – was honoured around the course.

From a flag in Lakers colours and with Bryant's number eight, to Brooks Koepka sporting headcovers inspired by the five-time NBA champion.

Former world number one Koepka, reigning champion J.B. Holmes and Justin Rose are among the players at two under, while the likes of 2018 winner Dustin Johnson, two-time champion Phil Mickelson, three-time victor Bubba Watson and Jordan Spieth ended the day one over the card.

Tiger Woods has "delved into the details" after receiving an approach from the Premier Golf League.

A newly proposed schedule that would rival the PGA Tour, the Premier Golf League wants to stage an 18-event season that sees each tournament played over 54 holes, rather than 72.

There would be a team element involved too, with the 48 competitors split into groups of four. Total prize money will reportedly be $240million (£185m).

Speaking ahead of the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club, Woods confirmed he and his team are looking into the potential plans that would see the world's best playing together on a regular basis.

"My team's been aware of it and we've delved into the details of it and trying to figure it out just like everyone else,'' Woods told the media.

"We've been down this road before with World Golf Championships and other events being started. There's a lot of information that we're still looking at and whether it's reality or not, but just like everybody else, we're looking into it.

"I think just like all events, you're trying to get the top players to play more collectively. It's one of the reasons why we instituted the World Golf Championships, because we were only getting the top players together five times a year: the four majors and the Players.

"We wanted to showcase the top players on more than just those occasions.

"So, this is a natural evolution, whether or not things like this are going to happen, but ideas like this are going to happen going forward, whether it's now or any other time in the future."

Woods is tournament host for the Genesis Invitational this week but has yet to win the tournament in 12 previous attempts.

Marc Leishman fired a seven-under 65 to capitalise on Jon Rahm's final-round errors and win the Farmers Insurance Open by a stroke on Sunday.

Leishman produced eight birdies at Torrey Pines, including one at the last, to claim his fifth PGA Tour victory.

Overnight leader Rahm squandered his one-stroke advantage in a poor first five holes that saw him drop four shots.

The Spanish world number three charged back into contention with a strong run beginning at the 13th and threatened to force a playoff.

Leishman's birdie at the par-five 18th left 2017 champion Rahm needing an eagle to be a chance of winning the tournament for the second time.

Rahm's putt pulled up before the cup to hand his 36-year-old opponent a first Tour triumph since the CIMB Classic in 2018.

"Number five, that sounds pretty good, and on Australia Day," Leishman, who finished 15 under, told reporters.

"Playing well helps but I didn't actually hit it that well off the tee today. Putting always [matters]. You're not going to win Tour events if you're not putting well and I putted as good as I've probably ever putted today."

"This feels pretty amazing. I wasn't expecting this at the start of the day," he added.

Rory McIlroy carded a three-under 69 to finish in a tie for third with Brandt Snedeker (68) at 12 under, while Tiger Woods (70) was a further three shots back.

Woods, who learned about friend and NBA great Kobe Bryant's sudden death after completing his round, congratulated Leishman on the victory with a hug and a handshake.

Tiger Woods called it "a shocker" to learn his friend Kobe Bryant had died in a helicopter crash.

Golf's 15-time major winner is an ardent Los Angeles Lakers fan and paid tribute to his fellow global sporting superstar.

Woods learned of the news after completing his final round at the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego on Sunday.

Bryant was one of nine people on board a helicopter that crashed at approximately 10am in Los Angeles County, California, local authorities said.

His daughter, Gianna, also died in the tragedy, the NBA announced.

Bryant, who won five NBA championships with the Lakers and piled up personal accolades, was nicknamed 'Mamba', and golf fans had been urging an oblivious Woods to produce a magical round in the basketball great's memory.

"I didn't really understand why the people were saying, 'Do it for Mamba'," Woods said.

"But now I understand. It's a shocker for everyone. I'm unbelievably sad."

Woods said Bryant was an inspiration as a player.

"He brought it each and every night on both ends of the floor," Woods told CBS. "Not too many guys can say that throughout NBA history.

"He locked up on D [defense], obviously he was dominant on the offensive side, but anytime he was in the game he'd take on their best player and just shut him down for all 48 minutes and that was one of the more impressive things I think in his entire career.

"When he ruptured his Achilles and went to the foul line and made his shots, that's tough."

Jon Rahm charged into the Farmers Insurance Open lead after firing a seven-under 65 on Saturday, while Tiger Woods was left five shots adrift.

Rahm produced a bogey-free third round at Torrey Pines in California, where all players were on the South Course, making an eagle and five birdies.

The Spanish 2017 champion holed out from 111 yards at the par-four second after a birdie at the first before picking up shots at the sixth and ninth.

Rahm made further birdies at 13 and 16 to get to 12 under, holding a one-stroke lead over Ryan Palmer (71).

Rory McIlroy produced his equal best round of the tournament with a five-under 67 to get to nine under and a tie for third.

The Northern Irishman sits alongside Sung Kang (67), Harry Higgs (69) and Cameron Champ (68) heading into the final round.

Woods, meanwhile, made a brilliant start by holing four birdies on the front nine to get to within two of the leaders in San Diego, where there was a two-hour delay to the start of play due to heavy fog.

A bogey at 11 slowed him down and although he made a great par save at the last, the seven-time champion appears too far back.

Tyler McCumber (68), Tony Finau (68), Marc Leishman (68), Patrick Reed (70), Sebastian Cappelen (71), Brandt Snedeker (72) and J.B. Holmes (71) are a shot ahead of Woods in equal seventh.

Jordan Spieth is back in a tie for 42nd after a one-over 73, although he did manage to hole out for birdie from 87 feet from the rough for birdie at the 15th.

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