Charity golf match with Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and NFL QBs to give $10 million for coronavirus relief
When “The Match: Champions for Charity” actually gets underway, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning will likely look to their respective golfing partners, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, for pointers. But in a teleconference meeting Thursday to promote the event the two NFL stars gave their PGA counterparts an entertaining lesson in trash talk.
Manning again showed his talent for comedy while jabbing at Brady for an incident last month in which the new Buccaneers quarterback wandered into the wrong home in Tampa. Brady himself joked shortly afterward that he had been guilty of “breaking and entering,” and on Thursday Manning referred to the site of “The Match” in claiming that “the tournament had to be in Florida after Tom’s B-and-E arrest.”
“With the ankle monitor, (Brady) couldn’t leave the state,” quipped Manning, whose 18-year NFL career ended in 2016. “Tiger and I talked to the sheriff in Tampa, he’s gonna be allowed to go to Palm Beach to play.”
Later in the promotional event, Brady fired back with a reference to NFL rule changes on downfield contact after the Indianapolis Colts, Manning’s team at the time, complained bitterly that their wide receivers were manhandled by Brady’s New England Patriots in the 2004 AFC championship game.
“Hopefully, after Phil and I win,” Brady said, “they don’t try to change the rules on us or send the tapes into the NFL - I don’t know if Peyton can still do that now that he’s retired - and try to change some of the rules to make it a little easier the next time.”
In a sequel of sorts to a head-to-head match in 2018 in which Mickelson defeated Woods for a $9 million winner-take-all prize, the two will be joined on May 24 by Brady and Manning. Turner Sports, which will broadcast the event on multiple platforms, announced Thursday that parent company WarnerMedia plus the four athletes will donate $10 million to relief efforts related to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Whereas the 2018 competition took place in Las Vegas, this year’s installment of “The Match” will be held at Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Florida. That location is just north of West Palm Beach and Woods’ home in Jupiter Island, as well as about a three-hour drive east across the state’s peninsula from Tampa.
Claiming with feigned resignation that “Palm Beach is the best we can probably do,” Manning expressed hope that “this will be considered a neutral site,” as he has “never played Tom very well on his home turf.”
“I would have loved to have had this tournament in a place where they don’t like Tom very much,” continued Manning, who listed possible venues such as Denver, where he finished his career with the Broncos, and Indianapolis. Manning also listed Boston, where he implied Patriots fans would also have no love for Brady anymore “after he betrayed them and broke their hearts.”
At the start of Thursday’s event, which was hosted by TNT’s Ernie Johnson, he noted that Brady had already taken a shot at Woods and Manning a couple of weeks ago with an Instagram post in which he boasted, “Never had much of a hard time beating the colts or a tiger, don’t see this time being much different ...”
Asked about that, Brady joked that he initially thought he was going to be paired with Woods but “Peyton’s dad called and switched the team.” Manning could only chuckle at the reference to a 2004 episode in which his father, Archie Manning, told the San Diego Chargers that his other quarterbacking son, Eli, preferred not to be drafted by them and instead wanted to play for the New York Giants.
Brady also proved willing to make fun of himself, perhaps laying the groundwork for a potentially underwhelming showing in “The Match.” He said he would have to do all his trash-talking “early” during the contest, “because I know once I’m on the course I’ll probably be very quiet, from being p----- off about all the s-----shots I’ll be hitting.”
Mickelson had the most noteworthy backdrop for the teleconference, appearing to be in his trophy room with a photo of Woods putting a green jacket on Mickelson after the latter took back the Masters title in 2006, and some hardware for besting Woods in the 2018 “Match” over his shoulder.
Woods one-upped him by claiming that it was “a little bit chilly” where he was before reaching off-camera for his own green jacket, a reminder that he triumphed at Augusta National just last year.
Woods is still the reigning Masters champion, after the tournament was postponed amid a slew of cancellations in the sports world to help slow the spread of the pandemic. This year’s Masters is now scheduled for November, and both Brady and Manning said they were happy to be able to participate in something soon that could help lift the spirits of sports fans while also benefiting a worthy cause.
Mickelson praised the two football stars for “going out of their comfort zone” by exposing their possibly shaky golf games to a national TV audience to help a charitable effort.
Mickelson also referred to his favorite NFL team - and continued the general tone of the conversation - in telling them, “Both of you guys have owned our Chargers, so I want you to realize how big of me it is to come out and be with you both, because I have had such hostility for so many years.”