Coronavirus pandemic

Tiger, Phil to serve up golf relief

Left: Phil Mickelson will take on Tiger Woods in a one-off golf charity match while the PGA Tour remains on ice. The former will team up with former New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (above, left), while Woods will partner another Super Bowl
Above: Phil Mickelson will take on Tiger Woods in a one-off golf charity match while the PGA Tour remains on ice. The former will team up with former New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, while Woods will partner another Super Bowl winner, Peyton Manning, in their all-American match-up. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Left: Phil Mickelson will take on Tiger Woods in a one-off golf charity match while the PGA Tour remains on ice. The former will team up with former New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (above, left), while Woods will partner another Super Bowl
Phil Mickelson will take on Tiger Woods in a one-off golf charity match while the PGA Tour remains on ice. The former will team up with former New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (above, left), while Woods will partner another Super Bowl winner, Peyton Manning, in their all-American match-up. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

They will pair up with Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks Brady, Manning in exhibition

MIAMI • Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson will play a coronavirus relief golf match next month with Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, CNBC reported on Wednesday.

The report, which cited an unnamed source familiar with the negotiations, said the charity match would be held at an undisclosed location without fans and is being organised by the PGA Tour and AT&T's WarnerMedia. It could be aired on live TV and is unlikely to be on pay-per-view.

One detail that has been firmed up is the match-up - 15-time Major champion Woods will partner Manning, 44, against five-time Major winner Mickelson and Brady, 42.

"Discussions along these lines have been ongoing for quite some time, but nothing has been approved," the PGA Tour said in a statement.

During the coronavirus pandemic that has brought the sporting world to a halt, this would be a rare event featuring two of the most famous golfers of their era and two of the greatest National Football League quarterbacks.

The event will feature a small production crew to film it with each individual obeying social-distancing recommendations to stay at least 2m apart, the report said.

Mickelson was asked recently on Twitter about the chances of another round of golf against Woods being streamed live in the near future, and he replied: "Working on it." When another fan told him not to "tease", he responded: "I don't tease. I'm kinda a sure thing."

Woods, 44, last competed in February and then withdrew from a number of tournaments with a back injury before the PGA Tour decided to cancel a slew of events because of the Covid-19 crisis.

Mickelson, 49, finished third in the Pebble Beach Pro-Am in early February and missed the cut in his next two starts before his season was also put on ice.

The duo played each other in a winner-takes-all US$9 million (S$12.92 million) match-play exhibition in November 2018 that was golf's first venture into pay-per-view. The event was hyped like a Las Vegas boxing prize fight, but proved more of a pillow fight, with both men in jovial mood and playing for a purse that was put up by sponsors and would go to a charity of Mickelson's choice.

While the proposed charity event will help to lighten the mood in a difficult period for the sport, there are likely to be more painful decisions on the horizon.

The PGA Tour is suspended until May 10 at the earliest, leading to the postponement of the year's first two Majors, the Masters and the PGA Championship.

Speculation remains rife that Britain's The Open Championship, traditionally the third Major, will either take the same route or be cancelled. Organisers said they were "continuing to work through our options" and would give an update as soon as possible.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 03, 2020, with the headline 'Tiger, Phil to serve up golf relief'. Print Edition | Subscribe