The PGA Tour is scheduled to return televised golf to fans with the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Fla., on June 11-14, but it looks like Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson will beat them to it in providing a ray of sunshine during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Media reports in recent days indicate “The Match: Champions for Charity,” with Woods teaming with Peyton Manning against Mickelson and Tom Brady, will be played on Memorial Day weekend, perhaps on Sunday, May 24.
The event featuring the four living legends would be televised on TNT, and The Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Fla., appears to be the frontrunner to be the host course.
“There has been a little bit of trash talk already, a little bit of banter back and forth,” Woods said in a Golf Digest video this week. “Whether it’s, ‘I might need extra caddies to carry my Super Bowls,’ because (Brady) has more Super Bowls than my partner (Manning). Or, ‘I’ve got more majors than Phil, so I’m gonna have to have a truck come up to the first tee and U-Haul it out.’
“We’ve had banter back and forth, and it’s been fantastic. We like to give out the needle, and to give out the needle you gotta be able to take it. It’s been fun, and it’ll be like that when we play, when we compete. There will be banter back and forth, but it won’t be as rough as what we have in our text exchange.”
Woods lives nearby in Jupiter Island, Fla., and is a member at The Medalist, co-founded by Greg Norman in 1991, and Brady recently joined nearby Seminole Golf Club after signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Manning owns a condominium in Miami Beach and Mickelson is moving to Jupiter Island later this year.
“It’s on now,” Mickelson tweeted this week. “After feeling the sting of defeat the first time around, looks like Tiger Woods is bringing a ringer to the match (Manning). I’m bringing a GOAT (Brady). Ready to hit bombs?”
Manning, who was the NFL’s most valuable player five times and won two Super Bowls in his brilliant 18-year career as a quarterback with the Indianapolis Colts and the Denver Broncos, reportedly is a frequent golf partner of Woods.
Brady led the New England Patriots to six Super Bowl titles and was a three-time MVP in 20 seasons before recently signing with the Buccaneers.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis supports the event being held as his state starts its long recovery from the Coronavirus pandemic.
Woods and Mickelson played a similar event billed as “The Match” two years ago at Shadow Creek Golf Course in North Las Vegas, with Lefty making a fourth playoff hole to win the $9-million winner-take-all purse and a diamond-studded belt.
So Woods is looking for a little payback.
All proceeds from the event will benefit various charities helping those impacted by the pandemic, and the match would be the first sports event televised live in the U.S. in more than six weeks.