Medalist Golf Club, Florida
5/24/2020 3 PM EST
Odds: Tiger/Peyton (-200) v. Phil/Tom (+160)
“Four Icons. One Place. One Time.” With sports slowly making its return, all eyes will be on Medalist Golf Club as one of the first live sporting events and the second live golf event after the COVID outbreak hit. Last week golf made its return in the form of a match between Rory McIlroy/Dustin Johnson v. Rickie Fowler/Matt Wolff to raise $5.5 million for virus relief efforts. The Match 2018 was an iconic charity event featuring a battle of two of golf’s most beloved players. After a long, slow, and only slightly entertaining round of match play, Uncle Phil walked away from the 22nd hole with $9 million. This year’s iteration includes two more top names in sports. Combined, these upgraded teams now have 20 Golf Major Tournament Titles and 8 Super Bowl rings. Tom Brady will be joining Phil Mickleson’s team and Peyton Manning will be with Tiger Woods.
They will play the Medalist Golf Club in Florida near Tiger’s home. The course is a Greg Norman/Pete Dye style layout which means it plays very stadium-like. It’s a position type of play that really suits the way Tiger and Phil attack the turf.
The format for the round includes a “Best Ball” front-nine, which means that the best score marked between the players on a team is the score for that team on each hole. The back-nine will be “Modified Alternate Shot” where each player on a team tees off, selects the best drive and alternate taking shots from there until the ball is holed. The front-nine will include a net scoring component for the QBs giving them extra strokes in leeway to even the slate and make it more competitive. Like the previous match, there will be added challenges on several holes for an opportunity to raise even more money like a “one-club” challenge on the 5th hole. For added entertainment and trash talk value, all 4 players will be mic’d-up.
After Tiger’s historic comeback to the game in these last two years, he’s shot back up to the top of the world rankings thanks to a couple top-10 performances and another green jacket. The reigning Masters Champ is taking The (Re)Match to his home course where he happens to hold the course record of 62 and has his own set of tees. Recently, Uncle Phil hasn’t been the Phil that we’ve all come to love in terms of his golf game but his trash talk and gambling competitiveness is as sharp as ever. It’s tough to count out Phil when he has free real estate in Tiger’s head whenever he speaks and the momentum of having won the last outing between these two. However there’s no doubt that when it comes to head-to-head resumes in the long-term and short-term, Tiger is clear and away the favorite again.
Tom and Peyton could very well be what makes or breaks their team. They have the safety net of the front-nine’s format but if they haven’t hit their stride after that, then it could all fall apart on the back. Holes 11 and 14 are driveable par 4’s meaning they could leave the drives to the sharpshooting pros and contribute a putt or a chip but for the most part, they’re going to need to hold their own against each other. Peyton and Tom’s handicap indexes are 6.4 and 8.1 respectively but one has to think that since Peyton has had more time in retirement, he should be more in tune with his swing and where he best performs. Peyton has played in several Pro Ams and has even had the pleasure of having Tom as his partner in a couple games. Peyton is no stranger to golfing with an audience but this is a much larger stage than any Pro Am. Tom, on the other hand, is focused on his continuing GOAT football career and is trying to bring a Lombardi Trophy to Tampa, not necessarily his golf swing. After the press conference, anyone can see that Tom is still going to be his competitive self even though his trash talk may not be his strong suit. Advantage Peyton.
If you’re looking for a moneyline bet to place before the match begins, it might be the safest to lay the juice on (-200) Tiger/Peyton because it’s hard to imagine a world where the loss to Phil in 2018 has eaten at Tiger ever since. But if you’re looking to get deep into the action and look hole to hole, it’s a great gambling experience. All 4 of these players are some of the most intense competitors in their sports almost guaranteeing a great match start to finish. It could benefit less active bettors to look for a good 3-hole, 6-hole, or 9-hole lead bet for Tiger/Peyton in order to lay down less to the books. The Match 2018 had a lot of opportunities for prop bets that are worth a sprinkle like the hole-in-one prop. This golf match is nirvana for active and live sports bettors because it’s been tough for books to keep current in golf matches leaving opportunities for gamblers to exploit the delay.