As charity golf outings go, it’ll be tough to match the star power that Capital One’s The Match: Champions for Charity will bring to America’s TV screens this Sunday. Twenty majors, 126 PGA Tour wins, eight Super Bowl victories, 12 Super Bowl appearances … that’s some heat right there. Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady might just be the most famous foursome ever broadcast.
The pros: Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson
Come on, you don’t really need introductions to these guys, do you? Tiger Woods is coming off a resurgent season in which he won his PGA Tour career record-tying 82nd victory and his 15th major. Phil Mickelson remains a force, and beat Tiger head-to-head in the first version of The Match. Tom Brady just moved to Florida for work, and Peyton Manning continues to be the most desirable pitchman ever to wear a football helmet. This may not be great golf, but it’ll be fun to watch.
On a broader scale, COTMCFC will donate $10 million to COVID-19 relief efforts, and additional on-course challenges will up that total even further.
The format: Match play
In the event, Woods will partner up with Manning, and Mickelson will pair with Brady.
The Match will be a match-play event, meaning each hole will be an independent contest. The format will be four-ball on the front nine — each player will play his own ball, and the best ball wins the hole — and Brady and Manning will get three handicap strokes on the nine. The back nine will be a Modified Alternate Shot format, meaning everyone will tee off and the players will alternate playing the ball they choose.
Per PGA Tour guidelines, “The match will be governed by the PGA TOUR Integrity Program Manual, which prohibits players from betting on the match and sharing inside information with outside parties for betting on the match.” Presented without comment.
The course: Medalist Golf Club
The Match 2.0 will take place at Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Fla., which is a bit unfair since it’s Tiger Woods’ home course. The match will be held under COVID-19 safety protocols, including testing, social distancing and limiting the number of personnel on-site.
“I can't wait to go to Tiger's place and take him down,” Mickelson said to Golfweek. “Tiger thinks he has a huge advantage playing there because he was insistent that this event is played on his home course. Despite everyone else wanting to play it elsewhere. That's fine. We'll take it to him and Peyton. There will be no excuses. It's his home course but Tom and I are going to go down there and put it to them, and we'll make it that every time Tiger shows up at his home course, he'll have a bad memory.”
“The tournament had to be in Florida. After Tom’s B&E arrest, with the ankle monitor, he couldn’t leave the state,” Manning joked. “So it had to be in Florida. Tiger and I talked to the sheriff in Tampa. He’s going to be allowed to go to Palm Beach to play.”
Ain’t no trash talk like golf trash talk.
The amateurs: Peyton Manning and Tom Brady
Just how good are Peyton Manning and Tom Brady on the golf course? Pretty solid. Here’s a compilation of the two’s finest golf moments, via the PGA Tour:
It’s not exactly green jacket-winning material, but it’ll do for amateurs.
“I’ll be honest, I’ve never played Tom very well on his home turf,” Manning said. “I would have loved to have this tournament in a place where they don’t like Tom very much: Indianapolis, Denver, Boston — after he betrayed them and broke their hearts.”
“I’m just worried about them pumping crowd noise in there if [Peyton] starts making putts like they used to at the RCA Dome,” Brady shot back.
The betting line
Per BetMGM, Woods and Manning are the clear favorites here, coming in at -223 (bet $10 to win $4.50). Mickelson and Brady, meanwhile, are +160 (bet $10 to win $16). Over at BetMGM, you can wager on literally every single hole, if that’s your pleasure (and if it’s legal in your state).
You can also take a flier on some of the independent challenges. For instance, Hole #3 will host a long-drive competition, and the pros are +130 (bet $10 to win $13) while the QBs are +700 (bet $10 to win $70). As for the “closest to the pin” contest on Hole #4, oddsmakers peg Woods as the favorite at +125 (bet $10 to win $12.50), while Mickelson is +175, Manning is +500, and Brady is +600. If you’re looking to gamble on a serious longshot, bet on a hole-in-one from any player; at +5000, a $10 bet will win you $500.
The Match will be broadcast on TNT, TBS, truTV and HLN starting at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 24.
All four players will be mic’ed up, with the ability to talk to one another and commentators on the course and at remote locations. Turner Sports’ Brian Anderson will serve as play-by-play commentator, while 2008 Masters champion Trevor Immelman and, uh, Charles Barkley will be commentators. (Yes, really.) Amanda Balionis and 2017 PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas will be on-course reporters.
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter at @jaybusbee or contact him with tips and story ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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