Though it went down to a playoff, “The Match” wasn’t as thrilling as many expected when Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson battled it out for a pay-per-view audience.
Fast forward 18 months and now the Match is back—this time with legends Tiger and Phil teaming up with Peyton Manning and Tom Brady for an event later this month. The two all-time great quarterbacks, both decent golfers, are going to play as partners for Woods and Mickelson, bringing a new element of potential excitement to the event.
In 2018, the whole notion of The Match was that Woods and Mickelson would play a casual match for big money, verbally sparring throughout the event and providing viewers with a rare, behind-the-scenes glimpse at big-time golf without the constraints of network television. On some level, at least for part of the telecast, that worked. But the event also felt constrained, partially by the fact both golfers were kept from making big bets, and it turns out the pair aren’t exactly tight, which made interaction feel a little awkward.
Finally, neither Mickelson nor Woods played particularly well, making the event a bit of a letdown.
What do you think?
How does one make the event more exciting for viewers? Clearly the involvement of Manning and Brady is a start, but what else can be done to make the event more engaging?
Bring back Barkley
The best part of The Match was Charles Barkley’s off-the-cuff remarks, so in this new version, they should make the former NBA great a bigger part of the action. Let him needle the golfers, goad them into taking risks and put some pressure on the two NFL stars who will be a bit out of their element.
The Match felt limited by the fact the PGA Tour wouldn’t let Woods and Mickelson make big wagers that would have made the event more interesting. Since the proceeds of this new version are bound for charity, let the golfers and the NFL stars pull out their wallets. Everyone wants to see what happens with Manning faces a shot worth a million bucks, or what happens if Mickelson bets he can outdrive Woods and puts half a mil on the line.
More verbal sparring:
With Woods and Mickelson often walking down different parts of the course, the pair rarely engaged one another after the first few holes of The Match. With Manning and Brady in tow, and the teams with live mics, we should get more insight into what they are thinking, as well as an engagement the two teams have with one another.
Here’s hoping Mickelson and Woods bring better games, and that Manning and Brady, both high single-digit handicaps, can be competitive. While Manning and Brady are both good players, they are not even in the same league as their playing partners. How Woods and Mickelson will use the two football stars remains to be seen. Maybe Manning and Brady can throw the ball to the green for a birdie?
What’s your take?
What do you think will make the second version of The Match more interesting? Let us know!