Unfortunately for Phil Mickelson, it didn’t go very well. The question? On Forbes’ 2020 list of the 100 highest-paid athletes, at age 50 this active individual sportsman is the oldest. The answer, in case you didn’t already know, is indeed Mickelson, who turned 50 in June.
Four golfers are on Forbes’ latest list in Tiger Woods (8th), Rory McIlroy (14th), Mickelson (25th) and Jordan Spieth (52nd). One contestant wrote down “Who is Jagr?” while another wrote “Who is Mr.
Magoo”. One woman seemed to be on the right track, but it was too little too late. She wrote down “Who is Phil n,” and that “n” was probably on its way to being an “m” and the start of “Mickelson” if she had enough time.
The real Phil Mickelson, obviously, was a bit disappointed. The pro golfer tweeted “Just when I think I’ve arrived (I was the answer to tonight’s final Jeopardy question) I realize I still have ways to go (they all got it wrong ):”.
Mickelson wasn’t the first golfer to make it onto Jeopardy!
The sport was featured in the first pilot episode in September 1983! “The answer is,” began the then rookie host, Alex Trebek, reading the $50 clue from the Sports category, “in golf it’s two under par for a hole”.
First to the buzzer was Jack Campion, a sales executive from Los Angeles. “What is an eagle?” “Right, you’re on a roll!” Since then there has been more than 800 golf-related clues on the iconic show during the 35 seasons.
If that sounds like a lot of questions about pitching wedges, putting presidents and Gary Player, it is. There has been, on average, one golf-related clue every eight or nine shows. Although it is probably not as high as baseball, basketball or football, it is likely much higher than any other sport.
Jeopardy!s head writer, Billy Wisse, reportedly said golf lends itself to trivia because it is both a spectator and participant sport. “When you write clues about most other sports, you pretty much have to approach them only as a spectator,” he says.
“But when you write golf, there’s two different angles: the great players and the tournaments you see on TV but also what club to use in a certain situation and that kind of thing”. The Tiger Woods effect? It’s a thing on Jeopardy!, too.
Woods has been the subject of a clue or the answer to a clue a gigantic 84 times. Let’s hope for Phil Mickelson’s sake he pops up again on Jeopardy! in the near future, and that the contestants get the question right!