Phil Mickelson Eyes Michael Jordan, Steph Curry, Mahomes, Romo for Future Events

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 27, 2020

Former NBA basketball player Michael Jordan looks on while smoking a cigar during during the Golf Digest U.S. Open Challenge on Bethpage State Park's Black Course, Friday, June 12, 2009, in Farmingdale, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
Jason DeCrow/Associated Press

Phil Mickelson said he's open to future two-on-two matchups with Tiger Woods after the success of Capital One's "The Match: Champions for Charity" golf exhibition Sunday. 

Mickelson told Arash Markazi of the Los Angeles Times in an interview released Wednesday there are a wide range of possibilities from fellow PGA Tour players to other star athletes or actors:

"What if Tiger and I were to team up and take on two younger players, or what if we were to team up with younger players and have it be a real high-level golf competition? I think there's a market for that. But you have to have some personality in there, too, so a guy like Justin Thomas showed how funny he is, and he would add a lot to an event like that.

"I think you could showcase guys like Steph Curry and Michael Jordan or Tony Romo and Patrick Mahomes, who are all good golfers, elite talents and have great personalities. Those personalities are going to come out with this event. Or you could have someone who loves the game and is competitive but is really entertaining like Larry David and Bill Murray. I think that could shine."

Woods teamed up with Peyton Manning to score a 1-up victory over Mickelson and Tom Brady amid rainy conditions Sunday afternoon at the Medalist Golf Club in Florida.

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The event, a sequel to Lefty's head-to-head triumph over Tiger in November 2018, was the most-watched golf event in the history of cable television with 5.8 million viewers and raised $20 million for charity.

Although the success was likely in part due to the dearth of live sporting events amid the coronavirus pandemic, the inclusion of Manning and Brady, two of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, added an element of entertainment from the original match.

Woods typically finds a competitive zone that reduces his interactions with the other golfers, so having two other high-profile superstars on the course to help carry the "mic'd up" portion of the broadcast while the 15-time major champion focuses on his game provided a boost.

"I thought we learned a lot from the first match to make the second one much better, and I think we can continue to add on to that," Mickelson said. "Having a partner provided for more interaction, and I thought the intimacy of the cameras in the golf cart added a ton. These are elements that we're going to build on going forward and make it even better."

Getting Jordan, whose love of golf and competition was recently spotlighted in ESPN's The Last Dance documentary about the 1990s Chicago Bulls, would probably be the biggest coup for the event's organizers as they start looking toward the third iteration of the event.

Meanwhile, Woods, Mickelson and the producers have found seemingly a successful formula. Adding high-profile actors like David or Murray to the equation could bring the event more mainstream appeal in the coming years.