After waiting two months for any live golf, for the second week running there will be action to watch on Sunday night.
Remember ‘The Match’, the slightly grubby, at times bizarre, often cringeworthy, yet strangely entertaining duel for $9million between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson in 2018?
Well, it’s back for a second installment, this time not so players can line their own already cavernous pockets but in aid of Covid-19 charities. And this time there’s a big twist…
The two main men are back, after Mickelson won their duel last time round. This time each is joined by a legendary NFL quarterback to play a team game which looks to reignite two long-time rivalries.
Woods is joined by Peyton Manning, who won Super Bowls with the Indiana Colts and the Denver Broncos, while his great rival, Tom Brady, a six-time Super Bowl winner with the New England Patriots – and widely considered the sport’s greatest of all time, partners up with Mickelson, who has been Woods’ only real rival during his domination of golf.
With such fierce competitors involved, expect some trash talk. Just pray that it’s better than the contrived ‘banter’ heard last time round.
They will battle it out at Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Florida. Founded by Greg Norman back in 1995, it is an ultra-exclusive playground for the super-rich, and happens to be Woods’ home club. Many other stars of the sport use it as their base for practice, including Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler.
18 holes of match play, with a twist. The first nine holes will be a fourball, just like in the Ryder Cup, with the best individual player’s score winning the hole for their team. A hole is halved if there is a tie.
Manning, who is a member at Augusta National, the home of the Masters, is a 6-handicap, while Brady plays off 8, and they will both be given three shots on the front nine – one on a par-3, one on a par-4 and one on a par-5, but the exact holes are not yet known.
The back nine sees a change, with modified alternate shot used. Otherwise known as Greensomes, this format sees both players tee off, but only the best tee shot chosen to play. From there, each team member plays alternate shots until the ball is holed.
If the match is tied after 18 holes, the play-off will be a shortened version of the 18th hole, played from 125 yards from the green, with players taking alternate shots.
A whopping $10m. But all of this will go to Covid-19 relief, with WarnerMedia and the four golfers making all the donations, which TV viewers will be able to contribute to.
Just like in The Match in Las Vegas, there will be a number of side bets, but again this time these will be to raise additional money for charity. One hole is set to be played with only one club allowed for each player.
NBA legend Charles Barkley will also play one hole as part of a Bogey or Better challenge for an additional $200,000. Also expect to see long drive and closest to the pin prizes, and perhaps spot challenges, where Mickelson, for example, might bet on Woods missing a certain putt.
The protocols will be those used last week when Rory McIlroy and Co played their charity game at Seminole, and the same as the PGA Tour’s new rules. Everyone at the course will be tested for coronavirus and asked to submit questionnaires and have temperature checks; social distancing will be enforced; and there will be no fans present.
Negotiations with Sky Sports apparently broke down, but UK viewers can see all the action on CNN International from 8pm.
You can fined it on channel 506 on Sky for the HD broadcast and channel 878 for SD.
It is channel 207 on Freesat.