8 Reasons Why The Match 2 Was a Success
Raising millions for COVID-19 relief efforts in the United States, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson reunited for a charitable sequel to The Match, joined by NFL legends Tom Brady and Peyton Manning in a contest at Medalist Golf Club in Florida, which could have been drowned out by the heavy rainfall, but the players were nonetheless able to provide a spectacle that many viewers found thoroughly entertaining, surpassing expectations, Golfshake Ambassador Matt Holbrook among them. Ultimately, Tiger and Peyton won despite a valiant fightback by Phil and Tom, but the real winners were the causes supported, and those golf fans starved on live action on TV. Matt shares his thoughts on why this event was a success.
It is Sunday afternoon; I am well aware of The Match 2 that is taking place this evening between Tiger Woods/Peyton Manning vs Phil Mickelson/Tom Brady to raise money for the Covid-19 relief fund.
I’m also well aware that the first installment of ‘The Match’ wasn’t quite what it was cracked up to be, so was in two minds to even watch the second edition.
However, with the lack of live golf recently (aside from last week’s TaylorMade Driving Relief event) I decided to give it a watch and to my surprise was immediately gripped. Not necessarily by the quality of golf on display but almost everything else about the event. If you didn’t tune in, you missed out.
Here are my eight reasons why ‘The Match 2’ was a success.
The first edition of The Match did leave a bit of a bad taste in some mouths. The amount of money those guys were playing for (and the way it was paraded before and after) didn’t go down well. This time round the event was to raise money for the Covid-19 relief fund, accumulating a staggering money for a great and current cause so that seemed like a good place to start.
All in a day's work.— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 25, 2020
$20 million raised for COVID-19 relief efforts. ???? pic.twitter.com/0u7IrhagwA
I enjoyed the fact the weather was shocking. Although it did later improve, there is something enjoyable about watching professional golfers playing in the driving drain without their caddies to keep them dry. Yes, they were in buggies but still, seeing the double wet weather gloves is amusing!
I really enjoyed the conversations between players. Normally we are more commonly used to hearing some dialogue between caddie and golfer in normal tour events. That is super interesting, but for me it was taken up a step when listening to the dialogue going from pro golfer to amateur golfer. I found it to be much more relatable to what other amateurs would want to hear.
I’ll be honest, not being a fan of American sports in general (bar the PGA Tour of course), I didn’t actually know who the ‘other two guys’ were. I was quickly informed of their stature in American Football of course, but I do have respect for any sportsmen/sportswomen at the top of their game, and regardless of Tom Brady questionable handicap (started feeling sorry for him on the 6th hole), but give him some credit - maybe slightly out of his comfort zone – he stuck in there and battled away. I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself when the red shot tracer was vanishing off my screen to the right…maybe it can relate?
Then the 8th hole came along, and he holed out from 120 yards for a birdie. That my friends sums golf up!
As much as calling them carts is a tiny pet hate - they are buggies, right? - I’ll run with it for now.
I’m also not a massive fan of using them on the course, but in this format they kept the pace bearable which was one positive. The other positive was the design and the ‘pimped’ out style of them. Something we may see from time to time on social media when players have their own. But it was a cool fun addition to this match.
Have we discovered the next natural on course commentator? For sure, Justin Thomas still has one hell of a career in front of him with a club in his hand rather than a microphone, but boy was he impressive. Down to earth, funny, knowledgeable, and I am 100% sure that should he want a future career in commentary then we might look back at this match. He even referred to Tiger Woods as ‘TDubz’ a number of times during the event and was also giving out his fair share of banter to the players. He actually made me ‘lol’ as the kids would say.
Did anyone else find Phil and Tiger a lot more relaxed this time around? I really enjoyed the camaraderie between the two that I don’t think we saw in the first edition. One of the most disappointing things was that most of us were expecting the guys to be going at each other in the first match and it never really happened. Perhaps the fact that this had a more charitable feel about it helped?
As Phil stepped onto the 3rd tee – a hole which included a long drive challenge - he announced, “I’ve had my coffee, it’s time to activate the calves and I’m going to step on one.”
“This, ladies and gentlemen, is what I have to listen to every time we play,” replied Tiger.
Phil Mickelson Calling Shots
We all know Phil Mickelson is a short game wizard, producing the types of shots that most can only dream of playing. And there was an early example of this in an exchange with Justin Thomas on the 2nd green, where Justin had asked Phil to talk him through a tricky chip shot, he was faced with. Phil proceeded to give JT an in-depth explanation of exactly how he was going to play the shot. The pulled it off precisely how he called it. A moment of magic to which Justin remarked afterwards, “I find that very attractive, that kinda does it for me.”
So, that was The Match 2 encapsulated by Matt Holbrook, an exhibition that just about had it all. Let us know if you agreed with Matt's reasoning - and whether there were other aspect that stood out to you!
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