The Match: Champions for Charity made for a fun and engaging live sporting event. There was good golf, friendly trash talk, and money raised to help with COVID-19 relief efforts. Six million fans tuned in, as The Match: Champions for Charity was the highest-rated cable golf event in history. As I predicted, Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning bested Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady, winning by a score of 1 up.
The Match: Champions for Charity Had a Familiar Game Flow
The date was January 24, 2016. The Denver Broncos were holding on to dear life as the New England Patriots were in their territory on the final three possessions of the game. Every time the Patriots got into Broncos territory the score was 20-12. However, the Patriots only scored a touchdown on their third try inside of Broncos territory. And even so, Brady was intercepted by Bradley Roby on the two-point try. The Broncos won 20-18.
During The Match: Champions for Charity, it once again seemed inevitable that Brady and Mickelson would tie the match. The Woods-Manning lead dwindled to only 1 up after the 14th hole.
However, Woods and Manning were able to stay the course and hold on for the victory similar to how the Broncos held onto victory on that fateful January Sunday. Even when the sport changes, sometimes the competition has a similar game flow based on who is participating.
Despite Losing, Tom Brady Had Shot of The Match: Champions for Charity
Tom Brady had the shot of the match on the 7th hole. He was able to chip in a put for birdie while trash-talking Charles Barkley in the process. Brady did not have the best start in The Match, but was able to get into a groove after hitting this shot. Some thought he may have struggled at first because of Peyton Manning’s caddie comment. The mention of Eli Manning and Nick Foles, the only two quarterbacks to beat Tom Brady in a Super Bowl, may have flustered Brady’s game a little bit.
Also, Brady stated that he had already played a whole round of golf before The Match: Champions for Charity. This could have affected his start, as the other three were more fresh at the start of The Match 2.
Phil Mickelson Coached Tom Brady Through Rough Start
Mickelson coached Brady through his early struggles, and the duo was able to not let the game get completely out of reach. He also had some notable drives during the round. His best shot of the round was his drive on the 8th hole when he hit the golf ball within feet of the hole.
Mickelson did a great job of helping Brady improve as the match went on. He was not afraid to share some of his knowledge about the game of golf. He coached Brady in a sense. It was cool to see the teamwork displayed between both teams in this match.
Peyton Manning Had Good Drives, Wins Despite Weather
One thing that many have criticized Peyton Manning for throughout his football career was how he performed when the conditions were not great. However, Manning was able to show up despite rain falling through many portions of the round in The Match: Champions for Charity. Manning won two points in the front nine to help him and Woods take a 3 up lead into the back nine. He also was able to hit good drives on holes where Woods did not have his best stuff.
Tiger Woods Was Clutch Down the Stretch
Tiger Woods played a great round of golf. He was able to hit timely shots down the stretch and show off his clutch gene. He got revenge for his previous loss to Mickelson in the previous Match in November 2018. Home-field advantage helps many teams in team sports, and it helped Woods in this instance. Mickelson did not have as great of an idea of how his shots were because he had not played as often at The Medalist Golf Course.
This Golf Match Could Help Woods and Mickelson In Eventual Return to PGA Tour
Both Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson could be golfing competitively again as early as next month. There are still three majors scheduled to be played this year. Having competition against another golfer may have been great preparation once Woods and Mickelson are competing against other golfers. Both their games looked somewhat sharp on Sunday, which could translate into great seasons for them. While Tom Brady will get back to his day job and Peyton Manning will get back to enjoying retirement, there are potential prizes that could be attainable for both Woods and Mickelson in the game of golf. It will just be a matter of training well and putting in four rounds of good golf. I believe both of them can still do just that at this point in their respective careers.