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The Match: Ranking all six made-for-TV matches from best to worst

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Professional golf tours have taken a break for the annual holiday break and it’s time for another made-for-television match.

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy will take on Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas on Saturday, December 10 at 6:00 pm ET under the lights of the Pelican Golf Club in Bel Air, Florida. McIlroy, Spit and Thomas will make their debut in the match, while Woods will make his third appearance.

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While the first edition of The Match – Tiger Woods vs. Phil Mickelson in November 2018 in Las Vegas – didn’t quite live up to the hype, it proved there was a market for competition. Over the years, matches have evolved into charity events to help fight COVID-19 and HBCU, while still providing golfers with a unique product that goes beyond 72-hole tournaments.

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So which one was the best?

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Match: Champions for Charity

best match yet. The Champions for Charity, held on May 24, 2020 at the Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Florida, followed up on the first game and once again featured Woods and Mickelson, this time partnering with NFL legends Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, respectively. Woods and Manning won, 1 up.

The match raised over $20 million for COVID-19 relief when it was in dire need, it was a record golf broadcast, and on top of that, we are all watched Brady rip his pants on national TV. Seriously though, the players did well (despite the weather), as did on-field analyst Justin Thomas, who revealed that he has a bright future in television when he ceases to be in the top ten golfers in the world.

In fact, one of the best parts of the broadcast was the verbal haymaker Thomas threw to host Charles Barkley when he said, “Chuck, I’d love to watch your fat ass trying to hit a basketball right now.”

It was interesting, convincing and at the same time charitable. What more could fans ask for?

Match: quarterback release

The second best match may be the last and so far the only one not played by a professional golfer.

In a summer showdown between Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers versus Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes, NFL veterans and rising stars fought to the bitter end at Wynn Las Vegas, where Rodgers emerged victorious again (more on that later). ).

It differed from the previous five versions of the series and the characters introduced.

Match IV

It was easy to pick the top two and worst two, but those average matches could be interchangeable in 3rd and 4th places. As for me, I will take the fourth part played on July 6, 2021 at The Reserve at Moonlight Basin in Big Sky, Montana. Mickelson and Brady returned but lost once, this time to then-rookies Aaron Rodgers and Bryson DeChambeau, 3 and 2.

Match IV benefited the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, Feeding America, and Montana’s food bank chain. Over $2.6 million has been donated to the My Brother’s Keeper Foundation and over 6.3 million meals have been donated.

Coming to this, I won’t lie, I felt a little sorry for DeChambeau. I mean boy fired from his teammate. After the first hole’s failed prank, followed by the bunny-eared photo, the scene was poised for some heinous attempts at prank on the part of the big bomber. And then he chipped in on the birdie on the first hole to put him and Rogers ahead.

Mickelson and Brady were only three holes ahead, and Rogers shifted his weight from the tee to the green. At some point, six of his seven drives were played, and then he started going to putts.

Rogers brought dry humor and jokes with him, Mickelson and DeChambeau gave advice and advice by setting off bombs, Brady was Brady and everyone had a good time.

Match: Champions of Change

The third Match, Champions for Change, also ended ahead of schedule. Held on November 27, 2020 at the Stone Canyon Club in Oro Valley, Arizona, Mickelson teamed with Barkley to easily defeat Peyton Manning and Stephen Curry, 4 and 3. At 15 holes, Mickelson and Barkley won, 4.4 million dollars. was raised to study the history of black colleges and universities. With additional test holes, the total rose to $5.4 million.

Three analysts (Andre Iguodala, Gary McCord and Cheyenne Woods), two guys (Brian Anderson and Trevor Immelman) in the booth and four players with microphones during a pandemic-affected broadcast were a recipe for disaster for audiences on the production side. On the track, Barkley’s upgraded swing and hilarious trash talk kept this event from being bad, but certainly didn’t have the same effect as the others.

Match: Bryson vs. Brooks

Despite all the build-up, all the speculation, all the beef, Brooks vs. Bryson at the Wynn Golf Club on November 26, 2021 didn’t bring much drama. Kopka defeated DeChambeau, 5 and 3, and it could be argued that the best part of the telecast was actually the guys in the booth. Putting Barkley and Mickelson together on a microphone was just not realistic.

Cap pinned him to 10 feet on the 6th par 3, resulting in 500,000 meals being donated on his behalf due to winning the closest to the pin competition on that hole. DeChambeau missed his birdie call, which was 15 feet from the hole, opening the door for the four-time major champion to increase his lead. Koepka went into putt to move up to 3 and then froze his nemesis: “Any questions?”

joke back and forth saved it from ranking as the worst match.

Match: Tiger vs. Phil

The original $9 million winner-take-all fight at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas was highly anticipated, and like many over-hyped events, was a flop.

Of course, the match went to the playoffs, which ended with an impromptu 22nd hole won by Mickelson, but just because it was close doesn’t necessarily mean it was good. Technical problems interfered with the broadcast, forcing Turner and other providers pay a refund. Not a great start.

The front nine was bad, you can’t say otherwise, but as the match progressed, it became closer and more interesting. As in the play, the overblown banter left a lot to be desired. The most damning criticism of the first match? Ricky Fowler called it a “pillow fight”.

The story originally appeared on GolfWeek.


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