That’s all for now. Thanks as always for following along and be sure to check out the match report here.
Mickelson splits the fairway with a gorgeous drive off the Tiger tees on the 433-yard 18th hole while Brady sends his tee shot somewhere toward Alabama. Manning doesn’t do much better with his offering while Woods, who’s been so in-form all day long, crushes his drive into the fairway.
The quarterbacks pick up the pros’ the second shots. The rain has subsided but the wind has not and visibility is poor. Brady steps up and sends his approach shot about six yards short of the green while Manning calmly deposits his attempt on to the surface. Advantage: Woods/Manning.
Mickelson chips to within a couple feet from the cup, giving Woods and Manning two chances for the whole enchilada. Woods is first and his putt comes within inches. Mickelson and Brady graciously concede and that’s the match!
1UP Woods/Manning v Mickelson/Brady (17)
Tiger and Phil find the green to set up birdie putts for Manning and Brady. A big moment. Peyton’s up first and his attempt drifts right of the pin. That gives Brady a putt to make it all square going to 18. And he pushes it. Poor! They’ll head to the final hole with Tiger and Peyton nursing a slim advantage.
1UP Woods/Manning v Mickelson/Brady (16)
Mickelson makes yet another positively clutch putt on the 16th to halve a hole and keep his team within touching distance as the rain continues and darkness encroaches.
1UP Woods/Manning v Mickelson/Brady (15)
Mickelson saves par with a heart-stopping putt to halve the hole and keep things interesting. Three holes to win one.
1UP Woods/Manning v Mickelson/Brady (14)
Oof! Manning misses a gimme (after Brady misses a short one of his own) and the Mickelson/Brady team are only one down after wins on the 11th and 14th. The comeback is on! Sundown is 8.06pm and Phil seems aware of the time crunch as he hops into his cart: “It’s 7:30, we have to hurry.”
2UP Woods/Manning v Mickelson/Brady (13)
Amid a torrential downpour, Manning misses a 10-foot putt for par and leaves the door open for Mickelson from eight feet. But the five-time major champion misses and the bogey results in another halved hole.
2UP Woods/Manning v Mickelson/Brady (12)
Brady rims out a birdie putt that would have narrowed it to 1UP and the skies have opened up once again over Medalist Golf Club. “When’s the heavy stuff supposed to come down?” Brady asks.
2UP Woods/Manning v Mickelson/Brady (11)
Brady rolls in a long-distance putt for eagle (set up by a gorgeous bomb off the tee by Phil), his second good shot of the day, then punctuates it with a socially distanced high-five. It’s the first hole the Mickelson/Brady team have won today.
3UP Woods/Manning v Mickelson/Brady (10)
Another hole is halved after Woods misses a birdie putt from the fringe. Eight holes to go and Mickelson and Brady have quite a bit of work to do.
3UP Woods/Manning v Mickelson/Brady (9)
Tiger and Phil get up and down for pars to halve the par-four 9th and the Woods/Manning outfit are 3UP making the turn. We now switch to a modified alternate shot format for the back nine. All four players will tee off with each team picking their preferred shot and alternating from there.
3UP Woods/Manning v Mickelson/Brady (8)
Brady changes his pants ahead of the par-three 8th after splitting his first pair in all of the excitement on the 7th. Manning, who is owed a stroke per his handicap, misses a birdie chance before tapping in for 3-for-2. Mickelson then faces a high-stress birdie putt to keep within touching distance … and he drains it to halve the hole.
3UP Woods/Manning v Mickelson/Brady (7)
Tom Brady spent two hours looking like it was his first time holding a golf cluh. As he endures yet another playful ribbing from Barkley in the commentary booth, the six-time Super Bowl champion manages to hole out from 100 yards away on the fairway. “Shut your mouth, Chuck,” he says. Alas, Woods quietly lips out for eagle and the hole is halved.
3UP Woods/Manning v Mickelson/Brady (6)
Woods and Manning are 3UP after six holes with Manning responsible for two of the winners after he gets it close off the tee and calmly sinks the short birdie putt. In related news: there is no way in hell Tom Brady is an eight handicap.
2UP Woods/Manning v Mickelson/Brady (5)
Futures in TB12 immunity blend supplements are bottoming right now after Brady sends his tee shot off the par-four 5th into the pond. For the pros, this is a one-hole challenge meaning they must play the entire hole with the same club. Mickelson settles for bogey with 4-iron after a poor tee shot, opening the door for his opponents. Woods, using a 6-iron, has a par putt for 3UP but it rims out.
2UP Woods/Manning v Mickelson/Brady (4)
It’s Peyton who drains a 30-foot birdie putt the par-three 4th and the Woods/Manning outfit goes 2UP. Earlier, Barkley turned the screw on the struggling Brady, offering $50,000 to charity if the Tampa Bay Bucs quarterback can hit the green. Brady does not hit the green. Says Barkley: “I should’ve just said if you can keep it on the planet.”
1UP Woods/Manning v Mickelson/Brady (3)
We’re off to the par-five 3rd where Manning and Brady, both presumably thankful for the best-ball format after a pair of abysmal tee shots, will each get a stroke per their handicaps. This hole comes with a long-drive challenge for charity, which Woods wins after Mickelson slices into to the trees. Unsurprisingly, it again comes down to Tiger and Phil and it’s Woods who birdies to get his team on the board.
Woods/Manning A/S Mickelson/Brady (2)
The rain has picked back up again and it’s miserable out there. Peyton zooms up the fairway after smashing a perfect drive and second shot, explaining to match commentator Charles Barkley that he’s not in red and black because he didn’t want to wear University of Georgia colors and wind up on their social media feed. Brady, meanwhile, is having a bad time, sending his tee shot into a bunker and his second into the hazard before taking a drop.
Mickelson gives a short oral dissertation explaining his chip shot before hitting it stone cold, an early highlight. He’s in with a four to bail out a deflated-looking Brady, then Manning has a long birdie put to win the hole but shorts it to the left. Now Woods has a long birdie putt for the win but shorts it as well. Mickelson concedes and they halve the second.
Woods/Manning A/S Mickelson/Brady (1)
The skies have mostly cleared and they’re going to give it a go after a 50-minute delay. Remember: the first nine holes are a fourball format with Brady and Manning each getting a one stroke on the three most difficult holes – No 3, No 6 and No 8 – in accordance with their handicaps. Whoever of the four scores the lowest wins the hole for their team.
Tiger is introduced by Samuel L Jackson and smashes a 3-wood down the middle of the fairway, while while Mickelson, Brady and Manning follow with lesser tee shots. Mickelson recovers, however, and a mostly uneventful first hole is halved after Tiger and Phil grind over four-footers to make par while Brady struggles to get his microphone working. The bantz is already in full swing.
“That was a little shaky, for me,” Mickelson says. “Now let’s go freakin’ play.”
Today’s match has been delayed until at least 3.45pm ET/8.45pm BST due to the inclement weather. It’s absolutely pouring out there. Play on I says; a little rain never hurt anyone. Otherwise the current forecast doesn’t look overly promising for live golf today.
‘Member sports? Well between the Bundesliga, something called Fight Island and today’s made-for-TV golf exhibition pitting Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning against Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady, they’re all but back to normal. It’s called The Match, not to be confused with the $9m winner-take-all showdown between Tiger and Phil over Thanksgiving weekend in 2018, which also was called The Match, which come to think of it is about as creative a title as Fight Island. Anyhow, the purpose today is to raise $10m or more for Covid-19 relief efforts, which is something everybody can get behind.
The venue is Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Florida – which is Woods’ home course – and they’re due to tee off in about 20 minutes. That’s if the weather complies, as a flood warning is in effect until quarter after the hour.
Bryan will be here shortly, with the match due to start at 3pm ET/8pm BST. In the meantime, here’s a few details on today’s round from the Associated Press:
It’s the second edition of a match between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, the dominant players of their generation and rivals by name, but not necessarily by record. Woods has 82 career victories to 44 for Mickelson, leads 15-5 in major championships and 11-0 in winning PGA Tour player of the year.
Mickelson won their first made-for-TV match over Thanksgiving weekend in 2018, a pay-per-view event that ran into technical problems and was free for all. Lefty won in a playoff under the lights for $9m in a winner-take-all match. He also has a 5-3-1 advantage over Woods in the nine times they have played in the final round on the PGA Tour, most recently in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in 2012 when Mickelson shot 64 to a 75 for Woods.
He also stopped two streaks. Woods was going for his seventh straight PGA Tour victory when Mickelson beat him at Torrey Pines in 2000. Later that year, Woods had won 19 consecutive times on the PGA Tour when he had at least a share of the 54-hole lead until Mickelson beat him at the Tour Championship.
Woods, however, captured the streak that mattered, holding off Mickelson in the final group at the Masters in 2001 to hold all four professional majors at the same time.
The banter was lacking in Las Vegas, and perhaps having NFL stars Peyton Manning and Tom Brady will change the dynamics. The broadcast includes Charles Barkley providing commentary and Justin Thomas, whom Woods has embraced, on the course as a reporter in his television debut.
After this exhibition, golf has two weeks before the PGA Tour is set to return at Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas. Mickelson plans to play. Woods has not said when he will return.