Capital One's The Match: Complete Guide to Star-Studded Charity Golf Event

Lyle Fitzsimmons@@fitzbitzFeatured ColumnistMay 22, 2020

Capital One's The Match: Complete Guide to Star-Studded Charity Golf Event

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    John Locher/Associated Press

    The rescheduled Masters tournament is at least six months away.

    The Super Bowl, under ideal circumstances, is another three months beyond that.

    If you can't bear the thought of waiting so long to see the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady—and some retired guy named Peyton Manning—perform in a competitive weekend spotlight, the good folks at Capital One have you covered.

    The generational stars will take center stage Sunday for Capital One's "The Match: Champions for Charity," a golf event that will take place on Woods' home turf at Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Florida, and will generate a cool $10 million (or even more) for COVID-19 relief.

    It's a sequel of sorts to Capital One's "The Match," a one-on-one duel between Mickelson and Woods in Las Vegas that Lefty won on the fourth playoff hole in November 2018.

    Brady earned his sixth Super Bowl ring the following February, and Woods took the Masters the subsequent April, bringing the foursome's gaudy hardware total to eight Lombardi Trophies and 20 major championships.

    Woods will pair with Manning and Mickelson with Brady for the event, to be simulcast on TNT, TBS, truTV and HLN at 2 p.m. ET with pre-match coverage available in the Bleacher Report app.

    B/R parent company WarnerMedia and the golfers will make a collective $10 million donation toward COVID-19 relief, and the competition includes a partnership with the All In Challenge and additional on-course challenges for charity.

    It'll also provide some positive energy and smiles amid a global crisis.

    "The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unimaginable tragedy and heartbreak," said Jeff Zucker, chairman of WarnerMedia News and Sports.

    "We’re hopeful this event and platform will help raise meaningful funding for COVID-19 relief, while also providing a source of brief distraction and entertainment for all sports fans."

    The four players have dominated golf and football over the past two decades. We've compiled a list of everything you'll need to know as you count down the hours to Sunday's afternoon tee-off.

Event Info

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    Here's a rundown of some pertinent details.

    Date: Sunday, May 24

    Course: Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Florida. Opened in 1995, the course is home to many PGA Tour pros, including Woods. Tournament organizers are working with state and local government and public health officials on competition and production logistics to ensure the event follows safety and health protocols.

    Start Time: Broadcast begins at 2 p.m. ET

    TV Info: Simulcast on TNT, TBS, truTV and HLN

    Other TV Notes: In addition to live televised coverage, social and digital content prior to the event will be available through Bleacher Report and House of Highlights. All players will have open mics throughout the competition, including the capability to communicate directly with each other and the TV commentators.

    Charity Info: Donations will be made to organizations including DirectRelief.org, the American Red Cross, Save Small Business and the All In Challenge. In partnership with the All In Challenge, all four participants will donate custom experiences, and viewers will have the ability to enter into a live raffle for ones that feature Woods and Mickelson during the telecast.

The Format

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    Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

    It's not Woods vs. Mickelson. And it's not Manning vs. Brady.

    But it should blend their intensity and competitiveness, alongside high-end trash talk that got revved up during a chat with TNT's Ernie Johnson—particularly when Manning jabbed at Brady after a recent incident in which the new Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB walked into the wrong house when going to visit his offensive coordinator.

    "The tournament had to be in Florida after Tom's B&E arrest," Manning said. "With the ankle monitor, he couldn't leave the state. So it had to be in Florida. Tiger and I talked to the sheriff in Tampa, and he's going to be allowed to go to Palm Beach to play."

    The competition will feature Woods/Manning and Mickelson/Brady in a best-ball format on the front nine and a modified alternate shot format on the back nine.

    For non-speakers of golf, best ball means the players on each team will compare scores on a given hole and use the lowest. Modified alternate shot means each player will tee off, and the teams will use the best drive and then alternate shots from there.

    Not surprisingly, Brady couldn't resist getting in a dig on his longtime rival too, referencing a complaint made to the NFL by Manning's Colts in 2004 after a loss to Brady's Patriots in the AFC Championship Game.

    "Hopefully," he said, "after Phil and I win, they don't try to change the rules on us or send the tapes into the NFL—I don't know if Peyton can still do that now that he's retired—and try to change some of the rules to make it a little easier the next time."

Tiger or Phil?

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    Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

    Almost any way you slice it, the edge between the guys who do this for a living should go to Woods.

    Tiger is the reigning Masters champion and resided 50 slots ahead of Mickelson—No. 11 to No. 61—in the most recent Official World Golf Ranking before the positions were frozen in March.

    Lefty had just two top-10 finishes in all of 2019, and none after February.

    But much of the same could have been said of their respective momentum heading into the aforementioned match play event in 2018, which Mickelson won in dramatic fashion at Shadow Creek.

    Back then, Woods was coming off a win in the Tour Championship and in the process of improving his world ranking from 656th at the end of 2017 to 13th just a dozen months later.

    Indeed, Mickelson does bring some juice to Florida's east coast, having placed third at consecutive events in February—the Saudi Invitational and the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am—while Woods has played just twice overall in 2020 as he's watched his No. 6 ranking at the end of 2019 slide five notches backward.

    And if underdog mentality means anything, score it for Phil too, enough to square things up.

    "I can't wait to go to Tiger's place and take him down," Mickelson told Steve DiMeglio of Golfweek. "Tiger thinks he has a huge advantage playing there because he was insistent that this event is played on his home course. Despite everyone else wanting to play it elsewhere. That's fine. We'll take it to him and Peyton."

    Advantage: Even

Peyton or Tom?

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    It's been four-plus years since the quarterbacking legends last met on a football field.

    That was in the 2015 AFC Championship Game when Manning's Broncos beat Brady's Patriots on the way to a win in Super Bowl 50—followed a few weeks later by Manning's retirement.

    But if you think that means their rivalry has died out, think again.

    "No, you kidding me? He's got his fair share of mine too," Brady said on ESPN's STUpodity podcast (h/t NBC Sports Boston) when asked if he was tired of beating Manning. "Eli's the one I'm actually happy I'm not playing because I got no chance against Eli on the golf course. Peyton, I got a shot."

    Lest anyone forget, Manning's brother Eli was 2-0 against Brady in Super Bowls with the New York Giants.

    But whether Brady is likely to back up his Peyton baiting this weekend is up for debate.

    The older Manning was listed No. 2 among NFL golfers a few years back by Private Club Marketing, a luxury marketing, branding and membership sales consulting firm that works with private clubs and golf communities. In fact, Manning trailed only Tony Romo, who has played in four PGA Tour events.

    Brady came in at No. 5 on the list, also behind Ben Roethlisberger and Aaron Rodgers.

    Golf Digest listed Manning's handicap at 4 in 2016 and estimated Brady's was around 8.

    As of 2016, the ex-Bronco and Colt had recorded a pair of holes-in-one in his golfing career and fired a 77 on the championship course at Augusta National, compared to the newly minted Buccaneer's high-water mark of teaming with CBS broadcaster Jim Nantz to defeat aging former presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush in a six-hole match.

    Manning has also had a lot more time to play golf in the past four years considering Brady has been occupied with competing in three more Super Bowls—and winning two of them—since Manning's goodbye.

    Advantage: Manning

Prop Bets

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    Charles Krupa/Associated Press

    What's a made-for-TV golf event without some made-for-TV-golf-event wagers?

    The folks running the sportsbook at DraftKings.com have prospective bettors covered with an exhaustive list of prop bets, running the gamut from who'll be leading after three holes to whether either team will hole a shot from off the green.

    No word on whether there's a line coming on how often Manning will yell "Omaha" as Brady tees off.

    Here are some options for those with extra cash and a strong hunch.

                       

    LEADER AFTER X HOLES

    Leader After 3 Holes: Woods/Manning +125 (bet $100 to win $125), Mickelson/Brady +200, Tie +225

    Leader After 3 Holes (tie no bet): Woods/Manning -155, Mickelson/Brady +125

    Leader After 6 Holes: Woods/Manning +100, Mickelson/Brady +175, Tie +335

    Leader After 6 Holes (tie no bet): Woods/Manning -162, Mickelson/Brady +130

    Leader After 9 Holes: Woods/Manning -110, Mickelson/Brady +175, Tie +400

    Leader After 9 Holes (tie no bet): Woods/Manning -175, Mickelson/Brady +138

    Leader After 12 Holes: Woods/Manning -120, Mickelson/Brady +175, Tie +450

    Leader After 12 Holes (tie no bet): Woods/Manning -175, Mickelson/Brady +138

    Leader After 15 Holes: Woods/Manning -137, Mickelson/Brady +175, Tie +550

    Leader After 15 Holes (tie no bet): Woods/Manning -186, Mickelson/Brady +150

            

    FIRST TO GO UP X

    First to Go 1 Up: Woods/Manning -150, Brady/Mickelson +120

    First to Go 2 Up: Woods/Manning -175, Mickelson/Brady +138

             

    HOLE IN ONE

    Hole in One in the Tournament: Yes +5000

             

    LAST HOLE: HOLE ON WHICH THE MATCH WILL BE WON

    14th Hole or Earlier: +300

    Holes 15-17: +110

    18th Hole or Extra Holes: +175

               

    BACK NINE

    Hole 10-18 Winner: Woods/Manning -106, Brady/Mickelson +188, Tie +350

    Hole 10-18 Winner (tie no bet): Woods/Manning -200, Brady/Mickelson +155

              

    MOST PAR X HOLES WON

    Most Par 3 Holes Won (tie no bet): Woods/Manning -155, Mickelson/Brady +125

    Most Par 4 Holes Won (tie no bet): Woods/Manning -175, Mickelson/Brady +138

    Most Par 5 Holes Won (tie no bet): Woods/Manning -155, Mickelson/Brady +125

               

    TO HOLE OUT FROM OFF GREEN

    Either Team to Hole a Shot from Off the Green: Yes +260, No -335

Prediction

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    Ed Andrieski/Associated Press

    It's darn near impossible to forecast who'll fare better in this matchup.

    None of them is a stranger to playing and succeeding in high-profile, high-pressure situations, but it's unclear how much this event will be based on competition and how much on camaraderie.

    Woods has always had the perceived upper hand in the head-to-head rivalry with Mickelson, thanks to three times more major championships. The idea of picking him isn't hindered by a far superior world ranking and the fact that the match is being played on a course he's obviously more familiar with.

    And to the extent the QBs are factored in, it seems whatever edge exists goes to Manning.

    With nothing else concrete to go on, we'll call that the tiebreaker and forecast it'll be Peyton who gets another win over his old foe thanks to a close-out putt on the 17th green.

    The Pick: Call it 2-and-1, Woods/Manning.