Capital One's 'The Match 7': Funniest Takes from Woods, McIlroy vs. Thomas, Spieth

Maurice Bobb@@ReeseReportFeatured Columnist IDecember 11, 2022

BELLEAIR, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 10:  (L-R) Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and Tiger Woods of the United States pose with Jordan Spieth of the United States and Justin Thomas of the United States after Spieth and Thomas defeated McIlroy and Woods during 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

Professional golf played at night?

Yes, there was indeed high-profile golf played under the lights instead of daylight.

And that's just one of the unique but entertaining twists featured at the seventh edition of Capital One's The Match, which saw Rory McIlroy team up with Tiger Woods to go head-to-head with the pairing of Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas.

The 12-hole competition was played in the evening at the Pelican Golf Club in Belleair, Florida, to settle a few scores between four of golf's biggest stars and support Florida in its effort to bounce back from the statewide devastation in the wake of Hurricane Ian.

By the end of the night, it was Spieth and Thomas prevailing 3 and 2 after taking the lead early and never looking back after the latter went for a long birdie to win the second hole and hit the Michael Jordan shrug.


The deep putt and the shrug from JT πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ <a href="https://t.co/PGqsOGZebi">pic.twitter.com/PGqsOGZebi</a>

Ever the showman, Woods started things off with a birdie on the opening hole that was "smooth as a Tootsie Roll," but that would be the lone highlight for him on the night.

Lukas Weese @Weesesports

Tiger Woods playing night golf. <br><br>Things you love to see. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TheMatch?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TheMatch</a> <br><br> <a href="https://t.co/9P5Ac7GXxR">pic.twitter.com/9P5Ac7GXxR</a>

From there, Spieth and Thomas went on to combine for a few pars and two more birdies to finish off their opponents on the 10th hole.

There were some beautiful shots and competitive flourishes from the superstar quartet to the delight of fans, including JT's use of a 5-wood to make par on a 455-yard hole.


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>

But as much as there was great action and gamesmanship on the links, it was the trash talk and other hilarious moments along the way that made this event must-see TV.

All four athletes traded barbs leading up to Saturday night, but the trolling really got underway during and after The Match.

"Hey Tiger and Rory...what happened?!?!" Spieth and Thomas joked on Twitter afterward.

"How do you lose to us two?" Spieth said.

It's all right...everybody does." JT added.


Hey Tiger and Rory …<br><br>WHAT HAPPENED?!?! <a href="https://t.co/twrgI3C6pP">pic.twitter.com/twrgI3C6pP</a>

Probably the biggest burn was directed at Charles Barkley, the announcer for the night.

Barbs directed at Sir Charles is par for the course, considering everyone took a swipe before the match. That included Woods, who, when prompted with the question of "are you going to listen to Charles throughout the day or are you pretty much going to mute him?" responded with "if we had an option, we'd never listen to him."

Thomas has history with the Round Mound of Rebound, especially with Barkley, an Auburn alum, goading him about having attended "Alabama University," so it's no surprise the line of the night came from him.

"Chuck's looking at that moon like it's an Oreo," he said.


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

That was the best zinger on the night from JT, but it wasn't his only one.

Before the first drive, he made reference to toeing the line when it comes to Barkley and getting the adult beverage of choice on the course.

"If you call Charles Barkley a fat ass, they will not give you the drink that you requested on the golf course."

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

"If you call Charles Barkley a fatass they will not give you the drink that you requested on the golf course."<a href="https://twitter.com/JustinThomas34?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JustinThomas34</a> is sticking to the rules for his first <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CapitalOnesTheMatch?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CapitalOnesTheMatch</a> πŸ˜… <a href="https://t.co/C6Czx74r8s">pic.twitter.com/C6Czx74r8s</a>

Not to be outdone, Barkley had some great color commentary of his own.

After McIIroy missed a birdie putt that would have cut the lead at the fifth hole, Barkley hilariously exhaled on behalf of his network TNT.

"Man, we needed that. We need this to go the full 12 holes. I mean TNT got another 795 commercials to run," he said.

Jack Benjamin @JackBenjaminPxP

Charles Barkley is deep in his bag during this Tiger/Rory vs JT/Spieth match 🀣<br><br>Rory misses the birdie putt to cut it to a 2 up lead after the 5th hole…<br><br>Chuck "Man we needed that. We need this to go the full 12 holes. I mean TNT got another 795 commercials to run"<br>πŸ’€ <a href="https://t.co/x293QrQuNK">pic.twitter.com/x293QrQuNK</a>

Then there was Barkley's earlier dig at JT's nuptials.

"Best night of my life. I wish I could have it over again," Thomas said.

"Well, it's early. You could do it again," Barkley replied.

Zephyr Melton @zephyrmelton

Justin Thomas on his wedding night: "Best night of my life. I wish I could have it over again."<br><br>Charles Barkley: "Well it's early. You could do it again."<br><br>πŸ˜‚

JT and Barkley's back-and-forth was the highlight of the whole event, but Spieth got in one last zinger before signing off.

After winning, he took a jab at Woods.

"The joy out of getting this does not match the joy of standing here with Tiger just being so upset that he has to stand here for this," he said.


The real joy for <a href="https://twitter.com/JordanSpieth?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JordanSpieth</a>?<br><br>Making Tiger miserable πŸ˜‚<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CapitalOnesTheMatch?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CapitalOnesTheMatch</a> <a href="https://t.co/xYmZSXuUXv">pic.twitter.com/xYmZSXuUXv</a>

Laughter aside, it was all for a great cause, adding more much-needed funds to the Hurricane Ian relief efforts in Florida.

After a night like that, fans likely can't wait for the next one.