‘The Match’ golf special delivers normalcy, raises $20M for people hit by COVID-19 crisis

Dave Uram
May 25, 2020 - 8:51 am
The Match-Champions for Charity

Mike Ehrmann, Handout Photo

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsdio) — The Match: Champions For Charity, an exhibition golf showdown featuring Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning facing Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady, generated $20 million for COVID-19 relief. And it made for a fun afternoon of live sports on TV. 

Houston Texans star J.J. Watt shared the sentiments of many on Sunday. Two of the greatest ever to play golf paired up with two of the best quarterbacks of all time in the rainy South Florida elements. 

There were no caddies nor fans. Each player had his own cart and a camera to give unique perspectives as the men rode through Medalist Golf Club in South Florida. And each player had a microphone and an ear piece so they could hear the Turner Sports telecast, which included Sixers legend Charles Barkley. 

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The microphones allowed for some fun banter between the players and broadcasters. 

Philadelphians got a moment when Manning listed the guys he would have liked to caddy for him, including Bill Belichick — a good-natured jab at Brady, former quarterback for Belichick’s Patriots — as well as the two quarterbacks who beat him in Super Bowl games. 

“Do you bring Eli (Manning)? Could do that. Do you bring Nick Foles? Maybe,” Manning said.

Turns out Brady is still bothered by Super Bowl LII.

“It’s the Eagles that I cringe, bro, not the Falcons,” Brady said. 

Foles found the trash talk fun. 

Brady and Mickelson made things close on the back nine, but Woods and Manning prevailed. Brady struggled on the front nine, leading to playful roasting by Barkley on the telecast. 

However, Brady gave Barkley a giant “shush” safter he hit the most impressive shot of the day: a birdie from the fairway in the par-5 seventh. 

In the end, the competition was secondary to the ultimate cause — raising money to help those impacted by the pandemic. 

“To go behind the ropes in these guys’ world and kinda be in the arena with them, it was really a special experience,” Manning said on the telecast. “I was not comfortable the entire time, from the first tee all the way down here, but knowing that $20 million was raised in helping people that are really going through tough times, it was an honor for Tom and I both to be invited by Phil and Tiger to play in this match, and really something I’ll always remember and cherish.”

The PGA Tour officially returns June 11 with The Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas.