Capital One’s The Match: Champions for Charity
May 24, 2020
Par: 72 / Yardage: 7,515 for Tiger and Phil, around 7,000 for Peyton and Tom
Purse: $10 million going to charity
So what is this week about?
So 66 days after the last golf shot was struck at the Players Championship, golf returned on Sunday at the TaylorMade Driving Relief. I have to say it turned into quite a match. At the start of the match Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson were strong favorites at -195 over Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff at +145 and despite being the underdogs, Fowler and Wolff carried the match into overtime before a TV rigged single shot elimination saw McIlroy and Johnson win when Rory hit a wedge to 18 feet from the pin to beat out Wolff who hit his wedge first to 18 feet from the hole.
So history will write that despite going into the overtime shot $400,000 down, Rory delivered the crucial shot that gave him and Dustin the title with the final six skins worth $1.1 million to win a total of 11 skins and $1.85 million. The competition was galvanizing and showed how exciting Skins game can be. All 18 holes were thrilling and unfortunately because the show running over it’s 6 pm time zone had to revert to a one-shot closest to the pin to settle things. Still, it was a welcome relief from the last nine and a half weeks of no live golf.
The ratings were ok, 2.35 million watched the match across many channels and devices so it averaged about the same as a regular PGA Tour event in May. In a way, many folks that make the decision to run things kinds of things are probably disappointed because over on Fox the Darlington NASCAR race averaged 6.32 million. Would have thought that golf could have been better, but the race was on later when more viewers are available.
On Sunday we get the second in a series of two preliminary competitions before the PGA Tour resumes golf in Ft. Worth, Texas with the Capital One’s The Match: Champions for Charity. A carry-over from a match 18 months ago in Las Vegas with Phil Mickelson beating Tiger Woods, this one has a twist as football stars Peyton Manning and Tom Brady will be part of the fun in a team competition in which Mickelson is paired with Brady and Woods will have Manning as their partner. The foursome will play one of the toughest courses in the world, the Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Florida.
This match will be totally different from the TaylorMade Driving Relief as it will be a match-play competition with two formats that the sponsors hope will provide an entertaining mix of strategy, team collaboration, and consequence on every hole. The front nine will be a best-ball format, in which every player will hit a shot and the low score of the players determine the score for the team. On the back nine, they will play a modified alternate shot format in which every player hits a shot off the tee, one-shot is picked and then the players will alternate shots of the drive that they pick. The difference from the Skins Game is that the element of non-professional golfers is entered into the mix making it even harder especially with them playing one of the toughest courses in the world. According to Golf Digest, Manning plays off a 3.5 handicap, while Brady has a handicap of 8. So right off the bat, the team of Woods and Manning have the advantage. Making it psychologically better will be the fact that Mickelson won the first time he played Tiger in Las Vegas 18 months ago in another overtime shootout.
Look at how Tiger and Phil have played of late:
|Arnold Palmer Invitational
|AT&T Pebble Beach
|Farmers Insurance Open
|The American Express
|The CJ Cup at Nine Bridges