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Tiger Woods roasted Phil Mickelson after beating him in an $8 million popularity contest

Tiger is still No. 1, even when he’s not playing.

The PGA Tour implemented the Player Impact Program (PIP) as a means to get more money in the hands of golf’s biggest, most influential players — without adjusting winnings on the course. It purports to use a variety of criteria to measure who has done the most to raise and promote the image of the sport, and the inaugural winner is ... Tiger Woods, who will take home $8 million.

Woods won despite having not played in over a year. Tiger is still recovering from his car accident in February 2021, with the golfer recently announcing he is planning to return to the game shortly. What makes his PIP win funny isn’t that he took home the award, because even away from the game it’s impossible to think of a higher profile player than Tiger, but the fact that Phil Mickelson was so convinced he’d won that he celebrated in December.

Now, Woods is enjoying getting to poke fun at Phil.

Mickelson took home second, so he’s still getting a cool $6 million — but it’s still hilarious considering the circumstances. Phil has become a golfing pariah after revealing in an interview that he was aware he was sportswashing the Saudi Arabian government by pushing ahead with the Super League, but saw it as a necessary evil to see change on the PGA Tour.

As part of the win, Tiger will now need to play an event he’s never participated in before if he wants to receive all of the money. It’s designed to put a high profile golfer in a non-traditional event to continue promoting the sport, and could be a fascinating opportunity for Tiger to mark his return to competitive golf, without diving straight into a major.

We’ll wait to see what materializes there, but for now it’s just hilarious Phil took a victory lap way too early.