US$20m raised as Tiger beats Phil in celebrity clash


The cash registers were ringing as the Tiger vs Phil match-up took on a whole new dimension. Most people on television were just delighted to see Woods in his Sunday red, swinging on a golf course again. And to top it off, NFL Hall-of-Famers Peyton Manning and Tom Brady provided the icing on the cake.

A total of US$20 million was raised for Covid-19 relief efforts in the two-on-two team match play event as Tiger upended Phil again, this time at Woods’ home course in Hobe Sound, Florida.

The 82-time PGA Tour winner, partnering Manning, built a sizeable lead over the first six holes before staving off a late comeback to beat Mickelson, 1-up, in Capital One’s The Match: Champions for Charity.

"The fact that we all came together and were able to raise this money for those who have been severely impacted (is great)," Woods said. "Tom and Peyton, hats off to them for coming out. This is our arena, and this is what we do. We couldn’t imagine going on the football field and doing what they do."

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The weather played spoilsport but the fireworks involving the rivals were once again on display at Medalist Golf Club. 2017 FedExCup champion Justin Thomas was the on-course analyst, and he even had a "funny quick story to share" about the alternate-shot advice from 'T-Dub' in December's Presidents Cup. Brooks Koepka called into the telecast to donate money to the cause, which also included player-themed golf cars and competitions that included long drive and closest-to-the-pin challenges.

There were many takeaways from the game, for one Woods' form. Tiger and Manning were 3-up after a strong front nine that began with a birdie from Woods at the par-5 third. The advantage doubled at the ensuing par-3 when Manning poured in a birdie, which was set up by an impressive tee shot from Woods that landed inside nine feet. The duo earned one final win at the sixth when Manning two-putted from the fringe.

Over the first eight holes, the only shot Tiger missed was when he had to putt with his 4-iron, part of a made-for-TV challenge.

Mickelson and Brady fought back after moving to the back nine, when the format shifted from four-ball (best-ball) to modified alternate shot. But the 'miracle' shot of the day came from Brady on the 7th when he holed out from the fairway just when NBA great Charles Barkley, working as a commentator, was giving the former New England Patriots quarterback the old wind-up. "Shut your mouth, Chuck," Brady retorted after his club finally did the talking.

Brady also split his pants, and Koepka, who tweeted he would donate $100,000 if the erroneous Brady could make a par somehow, had to write a cheque... all for a good cause, of course.

"My man hit some really great shots on the back nine," Mickelson said of Brady. "We fought hard to make up the (deficit) on the front. I was a little nervous, really tight. But he really shined and hit some great shots and we made a run, came really close."

"I am used to trying to peak for majors in April, May, June and July, forever," said Tiger, who is expecting big things as the PGA Tour restarts in June. "Now this (Covid-19) has changed everything. It is fluid. It is on the fly."

The concerns on his back still remain. On a scale of one to 10, "Well, let's just say 10 is not what it used to be," was Tiger's answer.