Phil wants annual ‘Match’ with likes of Steph, MJ


Phil Mickelson, fresh off the success of Sunday’s charity golf exhibition with Tiger Woods, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, says he would like to see “The Match” become an annual event.

“I think you could showcase guys like Steph Curry and Michael Jordan or Tony Romo and Patrick Mahomes, who are all good golfers, elite talents and have great personalities,” Mickelson told the Los Angeles Times in a column published Wednesday. “Those personalities are going to come out with this event. Or you could have someone who loves the game and is competitive but is really entertaining like Larry David and Bill Murray. I think that could shine.”

Sunday’s telecast of “The Match: Champions for Charity” attracted an average of 5.8 million viewers, making it the most-watched golf telecast in cable television history.

Woods and Manning prevailed 1 up over Mickelson and Brady in Hobe Sound, Florida, but the outcome played second fiddle to the trash-talking, pants-splitting and barbed banter, and even some good golf.

Mickelson and Woods had played an exhibition match that Mickelson won in 2018, capturing a $9 million payday, but that event did not offer the entertainment value of Sunday’s event, when all the players were miked up and viewers got an inside peek at their games and personalities.

“I thought we learned a lot from the first match to make the second one much better, and I think we can continue to add on to that,” Mickelson told the Times. “Having a partner provided for more interaction, and I thought the intimacy of the cameras in the golf cart added a ton. These are elements that we’re going to build on going forward and make it even better.”

Mickelson said he could even see a match in which he teamed with Woods.

“What if Tiger and I were to team up and take on two younger players, or what if we were to team up with younger players and have it be a real high-level golf competition?” Mickelson said. “I think there’s a market for that. But you have to have some personality in there too, so a guy like Justin Thomas showed how funny he is and he would add a lot to an event like that.”

A Woods-Mickelson match that included Manning and Brady had been in the works before the coronavirus pandemic shut down most live sports. The concept changed to a fundraiser weeks ago while still offering a chance for fans to watch live sports. Sunday’s event raised $20 million for coronavirus relief efforts.

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