5 Things to Watch For: The Match – Champions for Charity

The Match II is set to take place on Sunday. PHOTO: Angela George/Wikipedia 

For the second weekend in a row, golf fans will be treated to a made-for-tv match to quench their thirst for live sports, at least for a little while. 

This match will see Tiger Woods team with Peyton Manning to take on Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady at The Medalist Golf Club in Florida. 

The match format is best ball on the front nine and alternate shot on the back nine. 

TNT will provide the coverage starting at 2 p.m. with the pregame show. 

The match begins at 3 p.m. 

Here are 5 things to watch for: 

  1. Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods PHOTO: PHOTO: Angela George/Wikipedia

One of the biggest questions about Sunday’s match is Tiger Woods and his game.

Prior to Sunday, the last time we have seen Tiger play golf was at the Genesis Invitational in February, where he finished in last place after making the cut. 

Due to “back stiffness,” Woods then skipped the WGC-Mexico, the Honda Classic, the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Players. 

His schedule after The Players was also very uncertain at the time. 

Now, with the coronavirus pandemic ravaging the country and halting the PGA Tour season, it has now been 13 weeks since we last saw Woods compete. 

Obviously, he is healthy, or he wouldn’t be playing, but what does his swing look like? His game? etc… 

Following the Match, the PGA Tour season starts in just a couple of weeks with the Charles Schwab Challenge in Houston. 

It is unknown what Tiger’s schedule is going forward. 

2. 5th Hole

Sunday’s match will feature a one club challenge for all players on the 5th hole at Medalist. 

The fifth hole at Medalist is a par-4 that spans 404 yards with a very slight dog leg left. 

During the Japan Skins game last fall, Tiger used a four-iron during a one club challenge against Rory McIlroy and Jason Day. 

It will be interesting to see what Mickelson, Brady and Manning use. 

What club would you use? 

3. Brady vs Manning

Tom Brady PHOTO: Joe Calabro

For the most part, one would think that Tiger and Phil are going to cancel each other out, which means that it could come down to Brady vs. Manning. 

We all know about their battles on the grid iron over the years, but now we will see them battle on the golf course. 

While no-one knows a whole lot about the golf games of Brady and Manning, it would seem the edge would go to Manning. 

According to the USGA’s Golf Handicap Information Network, Manning holds a 6.4 handicap index and is a member of Cherry Hills Country Club in Denver and Augusta National Golf Club. 

He has also been playing more, given that he is retired from football, while Brady is still playing ball.

However, Brady did play a practice round with Mickelson at Medalist on Friday. 

Brady’s last official golf event came in 2014 when he played alongside Matt Barnes. 

Real athletic, good swing. Overall, I’ve seen Peyton’s swing, he probably has a better swing than Peyton. I believe that they’re very similar in handicaps — 4 or 5, depending on how much they’ve played. Obviously, Peyton’s been probably playing a little bit more, but [Tom is a] good golfer, very coachable. Kind of grew up playing the game,” Barnes told ESPN. 

Either way, it should be interesting to see how the two football players. 

4. Trash Talk

One aspect of these exhibition matches that fans look forward too is the banter and trash talk between the competitors. 

In the 2018 match between Tiger and Mickelson, there was not much trash talk, not as much s people hoped. 

“Tiger and I clamped up the first time on the back 9, there was just so much money on the line. I think having Peyton there will be a big part of it because he gives me and Tom somebody to rough up. Peyton, when he comes back at you, he does it in a funny way that elicits a laughter from you as opposed to a defensive response,” said Mickelson. 

There was also not much trash talk in last week’s Charity Skins Game between Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Matt Wolff. 

Surely, everyone will have their volume up on the TV this weekend to listen in. 

Hopefully, players deliver with the trash talk. 

5. What are the Odds

Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning are heavy favorites heading into the match at -220. 

Mickelson and Brady are +175 to win. 

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