Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning take on Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady this Sunday in The Match: Champions for Charity. Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Fla. is the host venue; money raised is being donated to COVID-19 relief efforts.
I broke down all you need to know to watch and bet over at TheLines.com. Below, we dive deeper into the various prop bets and look at the five best bets for The Match II available at DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook.
Live, competitive PGA Tour golf returned to television last Sunday for the first time since Round 1 of The Players Championship. Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson defeated Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff in a charity skins event. The Charles Schwab Challenge, set to begin Thursday, June 11, will mark the return of the PGA Tour’s regular programming.
This will be the second time Woods and Mickelson go head-to-head in a match play event. Mickelson squeaked out a playoff victory over Woods at Shadow Creek Golf Course in Las Vegas, NV in Nov. 2018. The two Hall of Fame-elected golfers will be joined by the future Hall of Fame quarterbacks in the rematch to help grow the audience and add excitement.
About the course: Medalist Golf Club
Medalist is the home course of Tiger and many other PGA Tour pros; it plays to 7,157 yards and a par of 72 from the championship tees. Designed by Pete Dye and Greg Norman, Medalist has never hosted a PGA Tour event.
Only one of the four par 3s is shorter than 200 yards. Four of the 10 par 4s are shorter than 400 yards and range from 318 to 474. The par 5s range from 520 to 610 yards.
The Match II format
Woods and retired QB Peyton Manning team up against Mickelson and Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady. The two teams will compete under the Four-Ball (Best Ball) format for the front nine, with the better score of each twosome counting as the team score on each hole. The amateur golfers will each be spotted one handicap stroke on a to-be-determined par 3, par 4 and par 5.
Things will get more interesting on the back nine as the format switches to a modified alternate shot. All four golfers will tee off on each hole with the twosomes able to choose their preferred shot. The playing partners will then alternate shots the rest of the way to the hole. A playoff will take place on a hole of approximately 100-125 yards until a winner is decided in the event of an 18-hole tie. The modified alternate shot format will still be followed.
Each participant will be mic’d up and ride in their own cart. Social distancing protocols amid the pandemic are preventing the use of caddies and the attendance of spectators.
How to bet on The Match II — Free $45!
New and existing users at DraftKings Sportsbook who place $20 in bets on The Match starting Thursday, May 21, will get a $20 free live bet to be used during Sunday’s event. Users can place multiple bets in order to reach the $20 total, but odds can be no lower than -250.
Once users have placed their initial $20 worth of qualifying bets, they’ll receive a $20 free bet to use on live odds or parlays during The Match. Bets must be placed in the state of New Jersey, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Iowa, or Colorado. Free bets, cash-out bets, voided bets and odds boosts are excluded and are ineligible for the free $20 bet.
Plus, you’ll get $25 free at DraftKings Sportsbook just for signing up — no deposit required!
The Match II best bets: Props and specials
The professional golfers will carry most of the weight over the opening nine holes under the Best-Ball format. The first hole is a par 4 measuring just 397 yards in length, the shortest of the pars 4s on the front, opening the door for Manning and/or Brady to get in early on the scoring.
Of the two future Hall of Famers, Manning plays to the better handicap of 6.4 to Brady’s 8.1. Look for both QBs to take some early chances to try impress their partners. Manning seems the most likely to make an early birdie putt.
Following similar logic as above, No. 4 is the shortest of the four par 3s at Medalist. It measures just 191 yards from the championship tees. Brady carries the highest odds of the four to stick it close with a $10 bet returning a profit of $75. It could also be worth placing an equal bet on Manning (+600). Either bet cashing would more than negate the loss of the other.
Woods and Manning are fairly heavy favorites to win The Match at -205. They’re -160 to take the first 1 Up lead, and -105 to lead after 9 holes. The twosome’s highest odds, +135, are to hold the lead after just three holes, but the stretch consists of a short par 4, a par 5 and the most difficult hole on the course. The best bet here is a tie (+210).
The short par-3 fourth is the second easiest hole and is followed by two more par 4s. Woods’ strength in iron play will emerge at some point over this stretch, making this the best value bet for the favorites over the 18 holes.
Expect Woods and Manning to take an early lead and to lead throughout but it’s important to remember this is a televised event. As such, organizers will do what they can to take this down to the wire in hopes of raising as much money as possible for charitable efforts.
Side bets and different challenges created throughout The Match will help to keep things tight and entertaining. It should also be remembered that all participants are battling a fair amount of rust. The PGA Tour has been on pause for nearly two months and NFL offseason programs remain on hold amid the pandemic.
Additionally, both The Match Part I and last Sunday’s TaylorMade event went beyond 18 holes.
It is unfortunate odds aren’t offered on which participant will be the one to accomplish this. This is where Mickelson, a longtime short-game wiz, will shine. Brady will likely be told he’s playing it safe as Mickelson looks to take advantage of a partner. Lefty will take plenty of risks in hopes of stealing the day’s most memorable moment.
Pin positions will be quite friendly and the conditions will be near perfect after months of minimal traffic.