The Match returns for the seventh time, and Tiger Woods is back alongside Rory McIlroy as the two biggest stars in the sport take on Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas.
Woods took part in the first edition of The Match against Phil Mickelson back in 2018, and it has evolved in the years that followed to feature stars of multiple sports.
The quartet will be mic’d up, and there is sure to be plenty of trash talk over the course of the 12 holes.
The Pelican Golf Club in Belleair, Florida plays host to four superstars of the sport, but it will be a little different as they will be competing under floodlights.
With it being under floodlights, it will be a prirmetime Saturday evening slot in America. Coverage begins at midnight UK time.
Playing under floodlights is an amazing experience for the average golfer, but it will be a big challenge for the elites of the sport as it makes reading greens extremely difficult due to the artificial light.
Woods heads into the event with a cloud hanging over his fitness, not only for the leg injury he suffered in a car crash in 2021 but as well as being struck down by plantar fasciitis.
- Date: December 10
- TV Coverage: Eurosport and discovery+
- Venue: Pelican Golf Club
- Format: 12-hole Match Play
“I can hit whatever shot you want. I just can’t walk,” Woods said. “The goal is to play the major championships and maybe one or two more, that’s it.
“Physically that is all I can do. I told you that at the beginning of this year.
“I don’t have much left in this leg.”
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Walking won’t be an issue in The Match, as the players are to be provided with golf carts – which will not only speed up play but make it easier for Woods to compete.
The competition will be played out over 12 holes in a best ball format, meaning each player completes the hole and the best score is noted down on the scorecard. So Spieth could take a trip to the water and it would not damage the team score as Thomas’ ball would still be in play.
As well as the 12-hole match play contest, there will be challenges throughout the event. The third hole will see a nearest-the-pin contest, the fourth will be a one-club challenge (which is as the name suggests, one hole where each player has to complete it using only one club), and the ninth will feature a hole-in-one challenge whereby if any player makes an ace, $2.5 million will go to charity.
It may be about raising funds for charity, but the competitive juices will be flowing as Woods will want to show he can still cut it against the stars of the sport.
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