Phil Mickelson (left) and Tiger Woods played a practice round together at Firestone Country Club.

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Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson plan $10M Thanksgiving duel

Pair joked about it at Players Championship in May

Old foes have become friendly in recent years

CNN  — 

With golf continually searching for ways to make itself more popular, two of its greatest stars might have inadvertently hit upon a way forward as Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are reported to be in negotiations over a $10 million head-to-head money match.

The golfing head-to-head, which once would have been a real grudge match, took a step closer to reality when Mickelson told reporters it is likely to occur on November 23 or 24.

“As we firm up more and more details we’ll let everybody know, but right now we know it’s going to be Thanksgiving weekend for sure,” he said on Thursday at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational event at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio.

Woods, 42, appeared to suggest the match was likely to happen, but said: “I haven’t signed anything. Nothing is confirmed. When it is, I’ll let you guys know.”

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The former arch-rivals, who have won 19 majors between them, have become increasingly friendly in recent years and seem keen to instigate the 18-hole exhibition match for which they would wear on-course microphones.

The match was first slated for early July, before falling through.

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It’s unclear whether the players would stump up the money, or whether it would come from corporate sponsors, and whether it would go towards charities, but Mickelson added: “No matter how much money you have, this amount will take both of us out of our comfort zone.”

It is unclear whether the players would stump up the money themselves or rely on corporate sponsors – or whether each of their charities will be involved – but Mickelson recently said: “No matter how much money you have, this amount will take both of us out of our comfort zone.”

Mickelson said it could turn into a regular exhibition event – in the same way that top tennis stars play each other away from the regular tour.

“As we’ve developed a good relationship, we’ve started to collaborate on some other things that have allowed us to achieve things that we couldn’t do on our own,” Mickelson added.

“Like this match. I couldn’t do it on my own. He couldn’t do it on his own. But together, we’re [trying] to create something pretty special.”

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Tiger Woods (left) and Phil Mickelson played a practice round together at the Masters.

The duo have been rivals for much of their careers, with Mickelson a long-time number two to Woods’ domination as world No.1.

Their relationship was known to be frosty early on as they battled for supremacy, but it has thawed in recent years as age and life experiences have brought them closer together.

They stunned the world of golf by joining each other for a practice round at the Masters in April and were paired together for the first two rounds of the Players in May.

With Mickelson’s first win for five years earlier this season and Woods’ resurgence from multiple back surgeries, the hype went into overdrive.

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‘Whatever makes him uncomfortable’

In a press conference ahead of the Players, renowned gambling fan Mickelson called out Woods for a big-money match.

“The excitement that’s been going on around here, it gets me thinking: ‘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?” he said.

“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.”

When told of Mickelson’s comments, the 42-year-old Woods smiled and told reporters: “I’m definitely not against that. We’ll play for whatever makes him uncomfortable.”

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Woods has won more than $111 million in prize money on the PGA Tour alone in his career, while Mickelson has banked over $87 million on the US circuit.

Woods’ camp has yet to speak about the proposed match and did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.