The Match ‘Champions for Charity’ Picks and Preview
May 20, 2020
Golf fans around the world enjoyed the return of professional golf last Sunday.
The Seminole Showdown between Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler, and Matt Wolff provided an entertaining spectacle and a profitable one for followers.
McIlroy and Johnson ultimately triumphed after a sudden death shoot out, with McIlroy icing the contest after being asked to shoot last. It was clear that all four players were rusty – not a surprise given the enforced lay off. Johnson had apparently not lifted a club for 50 days until the week before the Seminole match.
Despite this, there was some excellent golf on show and it was interesting for fans around the world to see the Seminole course on television for the first time ever.
Rather than four professional golfers facing off this week, we see two future Hall of Fame Quarterbacks teaming up with two of the biggest names in American golf.
Tiger Woods will pair up with Peyton Manning in this charity fourball, teeing it up against Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady.
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Widely viewed as a ’modern classic’, The Medalist, in Hobe Sound – Florida, will play host to this latest celebrity golf event. A very challenging Pete Dye layout, Medalist will provide a real test to the two Quarterbacks taking part this weekend.
The course measures 7,157 yards and plays as a par 72. With the traditional breakdown of four par 5s and four par 3s – all aspects of the player’s games will be tested. The format for this match is interesting and will mean that all four players are required to contribute towards their team score.
The front 9 will be played using the ‘best ball’ format – with the best score from each team counting.
However, the back 9 will be played using the ‘alternate shot’ format, meaning that team tactics will have to be considered carefully.
A combined $10m is being donated by the players this weekend – all funds going towards the Covid-19 relief effort, as was the case at Seminole.
There is some form to go on for those bettors seeking to get involved this weekend. In 2018, Mickelson took on Woods in a one on one game. Despite going into the match as the underdog – Mickelson triumphed on that occasion.
The favorites seem to have been installed on the strength of Manning’s handicap.
He plays off a handicap rumored to be between 3 & 6, with Brady himself playing off a handicap of 8. So two competent golfers.
Manning clearly has the edge, but there is not a gulf between the two.
Each of the Quarterbacks has form from their involvement in various pro-am competitions too.
Both Manning and Brady are regulars at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am event, the PGA sanctioned celebrity headline event of each year. Brady has shown himself to be a more than competent golfer during these events – even sinking an eagle-putt at Pebble Beach in 2014.
Another reason for Manning and Woods to be made the favorites this weekend is the fact that they have actually played team golf together before. Both in 2018 and 2019 – the pair played together for the ‘Memorial Pro-Am’.
Knowledge of each other could potentially give them an edge over Mickelson and Brady this weekend.
Our suggestion is to go against oddsmakers consensus and back Mickelson/Brady to win.
As all golf fans know, Mickelson possesses a gung-ho approach to the game, and that could well go in his favour this weekend. Looking to put on a show, he will undoubtedly bring an attacking approach to the match – looking to set up birdie chances as often as he can.
He holds the edge in matchplay events over Woods, and as previously mentioned – beat him in the $9m showdown in 2018.
Woods does not seem to lend himself as well to this format as Mickelson. Not seen as always being the best team player in the game – he may well become frustrated with his amateur partner on Sunday afternoon.
An interesting prop bet may be to also back Team Mickelson to make more birdies. Mickelson’s approach play and competitive nature will surely see him try to set the course alight with his approaches.
Take a chance on the underdogs this weekend to not only win but also to comfortably outscore Woods and Brady.