The goal is to raise $ 10 million or more for relief efforts from COVID-19 and provide entertainment with four of the biggest stars from the PGA Tour and NFL.
Another appeal to the Sunday TV show, “The Match: Champions for Charity”, is an opportunity to watch Tiger Woods swing a golf club for the first time in 98 days.
For the second consecutive Sunday, there will be live golf on television, with the game’s biggest headliner.
Woods was last seen on television on February 16 during the Genesis Invitational, moving cautiously into the cold late winter weather in California and posting weekend rounds 76-77 to finish last among the 68 players who made the cut at Riviera.
He skipped a World Golf Championship in Mexico City, saying his surgically repaired back wasn’t quite ready to sit out for the first three weeks of the swing in Florida. And then the pandemic took over and there was no place to play.
This is a good start. Woods and retired NFL quarterback Peyton Manning will face Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady, who won six Super Bowls with the New England Patriots and signed with Tampa Bay this year.
The competition will take place at Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Florida. It’s the home of Woods and about 20 minutes from Seminole, where Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff heralded the return of golf to live television last week.
What to make of Woods?
His only interviews were with GolfTV, the Discovery channel with whom Woods has a financial deal, and a playful Zoom conversation with the other contestants hosted by Turner Sports’ Ernie Johnson, which broadcasts the game on television.
He described his health in the April 9 interview with GolfTV as “day and night.”
“I feel a lot better than I did then,” Woods said. “I have been able to turn a negative into a positive and have been able to train a lot to get my body where I think it should be.”
Mickelson missed the cut in four of his five tournaments this year – the exception was third place at Pebble Beach, where he started one shot behind Nick Taylor in the last round and finished with a 75.
Like last week, rust is to be expected for players who haven’t competed in two months – three, in the case of Woods.
Manning has now retired and is a golf junkie. Brady continues to work and has been doing informal work this week with his new teammates in Tampa Bay.
Fans are not allowed, just like last week at Seminole. One difference is that the players are in their own carts, while the four PGA Tour players carried their bags last week.
But this is about entertainment as well as competition.
It’s the second edition of a game between Woods and Mickelson, the dominant players of their generation and named rivals, but not necessarily on record. Woods has 82 career wins to 44 for Mickelson, leading 15-5 in major championships and 11-0 in winning PGA Tour Player of the Year.
Mickelson won their first TV match made over Thanksgiving weekend in 2018, a pay-per-view event that ran into technical issues and was free for everyone. Lefty won in an under-the-lights playoff for $ 9 million in a game where everything was won.
He also has a 5-3-1 lead over Woods in the nine times they played in the last round of the PGA Tour, most recently in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in 2012, when Mickelson was 64 to a 75 shot for Woods.
He also stopped two stripes. Woods went for his seventh consecutive PGA Tour win when Mickelson defeated him over Torrey Pines in 2000. Later that year, Woods had won 19 consecutive times on the PGA Tour when he held at least part of the 54-hole lead until Mickelson defeated. him at the Tour Championship.
However, Woods captured the streak that mattered and stopped Mickelson in the last group of the Masters in 2001 to keep all four professional majors at the same time.
The banter was missing in Las Vegas, and perhaps having Manning and Brady will change the dynamics. The broadcast includes Charles Barkley who provides commentary and Justin Thomas, who has embraced Woods, on the course as a reporter in his television debut.
After this exhibit, golf has two weeks before the PGA Tour returns to Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas. Mickelson plans to play. Woods did not say when he will return.