BOSTON (CBS) — Professional golf is just around the corner. But this weekend’s extravaganza with Tom Brady teaming up with Phil Mickelson to take on Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning is a pretty sweet appetizer.
The foursome will tee off in “The Match II: Champions For Charity” at Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Florida on Sunday, all to raise money for COVID-19 relief efforts, benefiting Direct Relief, the American Red Cross, Save Small Business and the All In Challenge.
That in itself is awesome. But getting to see four sports titans slug it out over 18 holes is a nice bonus.
It’s not going to be the elite golf we see when the PGA graces our televisions on weekends, but that won’t stop us from tuning in. It’s another opportunity to watch Lefty against Tiger, and the first time Brady and Manning will square off since the AFC Championship Game in Denver in 2016 (Manning’s Broncos got the best of Brady’s Patriots that day, in case you’ve blocked that out). Mickelson beat Woods in the first iteration of “The Match” in 2018, and now they have a few buddies to tag along in the 18-hole match play battle. The first nine holes will carry a four-ball format, with Brady and Manning getting three handicap strokes (one stroke each on a TBD par 3, par 4 and par 5), with the final nine a modified alternate shot format.
That’s how it will work, but that’s not why we’ll be watching. Here are the real reasons we’ll be watching when Brady and Phil take on Tiger and Peyton on Sunday — and it’s not just because we’re all desperate for some sports:
Brady’s Golf Game
Tiger and Phil are masters of their trade, and though they’ve had a long layoff, they’re going to be pretty good on Sunday. But how will the footballers do, especially Brady?
We’ve seen Brady swing the sticks in a number of Pro-Am tournaments over the years, and he’s pretty good. He helped Michael Jordan win his own tournament back in 2006. Not good enough to quit his day job, but he should be able to hold his own. He probably won’t stack up against the pros, but we’ll see how he matches up against Manning’s golf game. Brady may have added a few more Super Bowl titles to his resume since Manning called it quits in 2016, but his rival has had a lot of time over the last four years to hone in on his skills on the greens. Brady made sure to point that out recently.
So it’s entirely possible that Brady could be the weakest link of the four. That won’t sit well with TB12.
We know Brady is the master of the middle of the field in football, but can he drive it down the middle on the course? And how about his short game? He’s the king of short passes in football, but what can he do with a nine iron in his hands?
The Competitive Juices
Tiger vs. Phil and Brady vs. Manning over the years has made for some spectacular sports theater. They each have a whole lot of respect for their counterparts, and in the end, this is all for fun to raise money for charity.
But no one is going to want to be on the losing end come Sunday, and all of that mutual respect could go out the window if the match is close near the end. How competitive is Brady on the golf course? Just as competitive as he is on the football field.
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As @tombrady prepares to play in his ninth Super Bowl on Sunday, we are reminded of a story that his coach Bill Belichick shared about playing at Pebble Beach: "We played together in the Pebble Beach Pro-Am and we were on the sixth hole, which is a long par-5 and it goes up a big hill and the ocean is on the right. So Tom hit one, his second shot, over (to the right), and I see a starting quarterback, a Super Bowl MVP, a league MVP literally hanging over the side of the cliff probably 200-300 feet above the ocean trying to hit a golf ball that's a pretty meaningless shot because the pro already is going to do better than he would on the hole. But that's Tom, he's very, very competitive, very focused. Plays kind of fearlessly, whether it's on-in this case on the golf course-or on the football field." • • • • 📷 PGA Tour Images #mypebblebeach #pebblebeach #pebblebeachgolflinks #tombrady #tb12 #patriots #attproam #attproam2019 #superbowl #superbowl2019 #superbowl53 #pebblebeachgolf #pebblebeachgolfcourse #bucketlistgolf #golf #golfaddict #golfheaven #golfisfun #golfisgreate #golfislife #golflife #golflifestyle #golfstagram #golftravel #golftrip #ilovegolf #instagolf #top100golf #whyilovethisgame
Perhaps a little unbalanced (literally and figuratively in that anecdote), but also insanely competitive.
If we’re lucky, we may see a few clubs go flying — or potentially break in half — if things don’t go Brady’s way.
This is the real reason to tune in. This quartet was already talking mess before the match was officially announced, and had a grand ole time slingin’ some smack when the date was finally announced.
“I actually thought I was going to be Tiger’s partner, but Peyton’s dad called and switched the teams,” Brady joked.
“It had to be in Florida, after Tom’s breaking-and-entering arrest,” Manning barbed back. “He couldn’t leave the state, so it had to be in Florida.”
We’ll give Manning credit for that one. He took it a step further this week.
“Tom has told me on a couple of occasions he’s still mad about our last game together,” Manning told Bleacher Report on Wednesday. “So if he’s comparing the golf match to the 2016 AFC Championship, I guess that’s his call. I don’t really see it the same way.”
That was a tad bit harsher.
Brady has been the best trash talker of the bunch so far though, adding this jab on social media: “I never had much of a hard time beating the Colts or a Tiger. I don’t see this time being much different.”
If this is what they’re going back and forth ahead of the match, we can’t wait to see what they throw out there on Sunday. Maybe Brady will show up with his six Super Bowl rings, though that would make it somewhat difficult to swing a club.
Brady’s Potty Mouth
We know Brady can sling the football. And when it doesn’t sling his way, he has a few favorite four-letter words that he lets out in furious fashion. Chances are he’s the same on the golf course — if not worse.
Turner Sports, which is broadcasting the event, has a pretty good swear button, as we’ve seen when F-bombs go flying during (and occasionally after) NBA games. Hopefully the button’s operator has been keeping his finger in shape during the NBA’s hiatus. We have a feeling he’s going to need it on Sunday.