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Thomas, Spieth Win Capital One's 'The Match 7' vs. Woods, McIlroy

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIDecember 11, 2022

BELLEAIR, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 10: (L-R) Jordan Spieth of the United States, Justin Thomas of the United States, Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and Tiger Woods of the United States pose for a photo prior to The Match 7 at Pelican at Pelican Golf Club on December 10, 2022 in Belleair, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images for The Match)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images for The Match

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth won the seventh edition of Capital One's The Match Saturday with a 3-and-2 victory over Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy at Pelican Golf Club in Belleair, Florida.

The superstar quartet enjoyed some evening golf during the 12-hole competition.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Tiger under the lights 🌑<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CapitalOnesTheMatch?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CapitalOnesTheMatch</a> <a href="https://t.co/LLLCb6SiYr">pic.twitter.com/LLLCb6SiYr</a>

Thomas and Spieth took the lead and never looked back after JT drained a long birdie putt to win the second hole.

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

The deep putt and the shrug from JT 🤷‍♂️ <a href="https://t.co/PGqsOGZebi">pic.twitter.com/PGqsOGZebi</a>

Spieth drained a 15-foot birdie putt on the next one to put his team two holes up.

The 455-yard par-four fourth hole featured the one-club challenge. Thomas took centerstage again by making par on a 455-yard hole using nothing but a 5-wood:

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

455-yard par 4. Using nothing but a 5-wood.<br><br>JT makes par. <a href="https://t.co/1LM1Ud3o7Z">pic.twitter.com/1LM1Ud3o7Z</a>

JT made an impressive two-putt thanks in part to Spieth and reporter Kathryn Tappen, who both helped lift a cable to get the ball onto the green.

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Friends helping friends 🤝<a href="https://twitter.com/JustinThomas34?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JustinThomas34</a> makes an impressive two-putt with a 5-wood with an assist from <a href="https://twitter.com/JordanSpieth?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JordanSpieth</a> <a href="https://t.co/aY7gON87al">pic.twitter.com/aY7gON87al</a>

He knocked in a six-footer from there.

Thomas was arguably the star of the show Saturday, as he also delivered the line of the night to Charles Barkley on the next hole.

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

"Ok, JT!" 😂<a href="https://t.co/6UoipFsLyA">pic.twitter.com/6UoipFsLyA</a>

Neither team won the fifth or sixth holes, but Woods and McIlroy got one back on the par-five seventh after the latter golfer knocked home a 20-foot birdie.

However, Thomas put Woods and McIlroy on the ropes by nailing a 12-foot birdie putt on the par-three eighth for the 3-up lead.

The ninth hole was a heartbreaker for Woods and McIlroy, who each had birdie chances from under 20 feet to win the hole. Neither shot dropped, though, and that duo found itself needing to win the final three holes just to tie.

McIlroy put his team in position to do just that with a birdie, but Spieth matched him to halve the hole and win the match.

Thomas, Spieth and McIlroy made their Match debuts. Woods had played twice, losing to Phil Mickelson in the inaugural competition before teaming with Peyton Manning to defeat Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady.

This year's matchup served to benefit Hurricane Ian relief efforts. The first six editions of The Match have combined to raise almost $33 million for a variety of charitable organizations. In addition, more than 27 million meals have been donated through Feeding America.