The Match: Champions for Charity guide, TV information, format, players, odds and more

Mickelson and Woods

Get all the key information ahead of The Match: Champions for Charity, including the format, teams, timings, and more.

The first edition of The Match took place in 2018, and saw Phil Mickelson beat Tiger Woods after four extra holes of their pay-per-view showdown, which became free-to-view owing to technical issues.

Mixed reviews meant that plans for a second edition had not yet surfaced, until some creative thinking following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic threw two NFL stars into the mix to make The Match: Champions for Charity.

Tom Brady partners Mickelson and Peyton Manning pairs up with Woods for what is essentially a lighthearted fundraiser which aims to raise money for coronavirus relief efforts.

Champions for Charity: In brief

  • When: Sunday May 24, 8pm BST
  • Where: Medalist Golf Club, Florida
  • Who: Tiger Woods & Peyton Manning v Phil Mickelson & Tom Brady
  • Format: Best-ball (front-nine) and modified alternate shot (back-nine)
  • Television: CNN (Sky channel 506) in the UK

Play is expected to begin soon after 7pm UK time on Sunday, at Medalist in Florida. That makes it a home game for Woods, although all four have played the course.

The format

Viewers should prepare themselves for a somewhat fluid format, whose precise details haven't exactly been made clear. What we do know is that it's four-ball best-ball over the first nine, which means all four play their own ball and the lowest score wins that hole for their team. We also now know that the two NFL players will get three shots across these nine holes - at the third, the sixth, and the eighth - which is less than they perhaps would expect given their handicaps, particularly Brady who is a couple of shots behind Manning on paper.

On the back-nine, it's modified alternate shot. That means all four tee-off, but the best ball is then selected, and they take alternate shots from there. You might assume the professionally-struck drive would always be chosen, but remember that leaves an amateur playing an approach shot. If Brady and Manning hit fairways, don't be surprised if their balls to be chosen - especially as they're using different tees to Woods and Mickelson.

Along with these details, we're told there will be challenges along the way. Just what these entail remains to be seen.

The teams

Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady

Mickelson, who earned bragging rights over his old adversary during the first edition, returns for the second with his 50th birthday on the horizon. Any talk of a switch to the Champions Tour would seem premature, especially having twice gone close to winning titles during the early part of the golfing year, and yet he's not exactly been a model of high-class consistency of late.

In amongst top-three finishes in Saudi Arabia and at his beloved Pebble Beach, he's missed four cuts, so there are concerns as to the overall state of his game even if he's won titles in both previous years. One of the circuit's leading trash talkers - not a competitive heat, it must be said - Mickelson will certainly love this format and relish the prospect of getting one over Woods on what's home turf for the player Mickelson calls the greatest of all time.

Brady is the main issue, or at least he could be. As he prepares for another season in the NFL, Brady plays off eight but sounded fairly downbeat about his game when speaking last week. It remains to be seen how much of an impact the amateurs will have on the outcome, but it's easy to see why these two are underdogs.

Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning

It's been - or it had been - a fairly low-key start to 2020 for Woods, who followed ninth place at Torrey Pines with last of 68 finishers at Riviera. The chief concern was not form-related, however, it was his withdrawal from several events he'd typically play in due to another spate of injury troubles. Woods missed three potential Florida stops, including the PLAYERS, and it was not clear when he'd be making his return.

In the two months that have passed he's likely returned to something approaching peak fitness, whatever that means for him these days, as it's clear he wouldn't risk the remainder of the year - and his career - even for a worthy cause such as this one. Still, plenty has to be taken on trust despite the fact hvictory in the Zozo Championship last year underlined that he's pretty good at returning at his best following a break.

As for Manning, he's had more time on his hands than Brady, and he's around a six handicapper. Expectations as to his contribution ought to be higher than that of his counterpart. On paper, this is clearly the stronger team.

The course

Medalist Golf Club, in Florida, was designed by Greg Norman and Pete Dye a quarter of a century ago. It has long been Woods' base, the place from where rumours would emanate whenever his latest comeback gained traction. He knows the place well, it would be fair to say.

Some say subsequent design tweaks from Norman have robbed the course of much of its charm. Whatever the case, in some ways it's just what you'd expect from an Australian who made Scotland his second home, with wide fairways and open entrances to the green at least offering a glimpse of how golf use to be played.

For Brady and Manning, it will be difficult, but at least they don't have to play from the Tiger tees which help stretch this course out beyond 7,500 yards.

How to watch

TV coverage in the UK comes via CNN (Sky channel 506). Other broadcasters are listed as TNT, TBS, truTV and HLN.

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