The Match debuted in 2018 when Woods took on Phil Mickelson in a head-to-head showdown at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas.
Mickelson claimed the glory and the $9 million prize money at the fourth extra hole with the dramatic conclusion played out under floodlights.
“I know big picture, your career is the greatest of all-time. I’ve seen you do things that are just remarkable,” Mickelson said to Woods following his triumph, which also generated $800,000 for charity.
“But just know I will not ever let you live this one down.”
“I will bring it up every time I see you. I will wear this belt buckle every time I see you. It’s not the Masters, it’s not the US Open, I know, but it’s something. It’s just nice to have a little something on you.”
It was no surprise that the success of the event spurned a sequel, The Match: Champions for Charity that saw Mickelson partner with NFL legend Tom Brady, and Woods team up with another football icon in the form of Peyton Manning.
“To be behind the ropes in these guys’ worlds, to be in the arena with them, it was really a special experience,” reflected Manning. “I was not comfortable the entire time. Knowing $20 million was raised and helping people going through tough times, it was an honour to be invited.”
The third staging of the event in 2020, The Match: Champions for Change, had an NBA theme with Hall of Famer Charles Barkley joining Team Mickelson and Manning recruiting Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry.
Stone Canyon Golf Club in Oro Valley, Arizona was the venue for their clash that saw Mickelson and Barkley cruise to a comfortable and entertaining victory.
More importantly, $5.4m was raised for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the United Negro College Fund. More than 3.5 million meals were also donated to Feeding America
The next showdown in July last year saw Mickelson team up with Brady once again to take on big-hitting PGA Tour star Bryson DeChambeau and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers at the picturesque Big Sky in Montana.
The jokes and the trash-talking flowed once more, but this time DeChambeau and Rodgers were victorious in a big-hitting display punctuated by the odd moment of brilliance.
DeChambeau and Rodgers were not the only winners with the event raising $2.6m for My Brother’s Keeper and generating 6.3m meals for Feeding America.
The next iteration of The Match doubled as a grudge match of sorts as Dechambeau went toe-to-toe with PGA Tour rival Brooks Koepka after a year-long spat that dominated headlines throughout 2021.
Despite not teeing it up in this particular made-for-TV event, Mickelson still managed to grab a headline or two having taken on commentary duties alongside Barkley.
The most recent staging of The Match that took place earlier this year was an all-NFL affair that saw Brady and Rodgers team up and take on two rising quarterback stars in the form of the Buffalo Bills’ Josh Allen and Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes.
Allen set the tone for the clash by unveiling a golf ball featuring Brady’s unflattering combine photo only for his success-laden rival to reveal his own special ball embossed with the Vince Lombardi trophy.
The old guard eventually rallied to beat their younger rivals in another 12-hole contest that was once again staged at the Wynn Golf Club in Las Vegas. It was left to Rodgers to wrap up the victory with a birdie putt on the final green.
The next edition of The Match is scheduled for December 10 and will see Woods return to centre stage alongside a few friends at a new venue – the Pelican Golf Club in Belleair, Florida.
In Belleair, he will be partnered by world No. 1 Rory McIlroy and they will take on PGA Tour stars Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth in another 12-hole contest that will also help raise funds for the Hurricane Ian relief efforts.
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