5 things we learned from Tiger/Manning vs. Mickelson/Brady

For one….it would have been a lot cooler if they were wearing Swannies shirts.

The commentary was hilarious. The charitable donations were awesome. The trajectory of Tom Brady’s tee shots was a little less compelling, but damned if it didn’t bring us back to a world that COVID-19 has robbed us of. How often do you have the opportunity to watch four legends like that play golf for a good cause? It beckons us back to the days of Palmer or even Walter Hagen, when exhibitions were more commonplace.

I swear Phil gets more pumped up for contests like that than he does for real tournaments. It’s the kind of thing that we need more of in the golf world. It was a Sunday spent with my dad, great friends and good beer. We cooked good food, and watched golf for the first time in a while.

So, what did we learn?

1. The GOAT is tough. It takes some guts to stand on the tee box with the likes of Mickelson and Tiger Woods, and spray it left and right with a smile on your face. Watching Charles Barkley throw down $50k on Brady missing the green on a par 3 was priceless. The best part is, even Barkley was rooting for him to hit that green.

Make no mistake, that competitive brilliance was still there. The guy holed out a 170 yard shot from the fairway for crying out loud. Is that the actual yardage? I have no idea. What I do know is it was awesome.

2. Tiger Woods with facial hair is mildly reminiscent of a very in shape Mike Tomlin. He also had the coolest golf cart hands down.

Woods is just good. That’s all there is to it. Whereas the rain and conditions were clearly having an impact on other players, Woods hit his custom “get it in play” low burners. He hit it straight for the most part, and showed why he’s the most competitive person on this planet. He also continues to show us a very matured Tiger Woods. The laughs…the smiles… let’s face it, we wouldn’t have seen that from the Tiger Woods of yesteryear.

3. Phil Mickelson deserves a job in marketing. The level of social media and tv commentary that he provided leading up to the match made it that more exciting. One of the coolest things about that guy is his enthusiasm for competition itself. It doesn’t matter if it’s The Masters, or a Thursday round with the boys. If he’s playing, he’s going all out.

4. Peyton Manning has a pretty good golf swing for a retired QB with a fused neck. He also seems like one of the coolest guys in the world. Enough said.

5. Mother Nature can’t stop a good cause. It rained. It poured. Those guys played their hearts out anyway, and raised $20 million in charitable donations in the process. For Manning and Brady, it probably didn’t mean much to their psyche. Elite football guys like them know what it takes to compete in harsh conditions. For Tiger and Phil, I never once heard a real complaint. Mickelson almost relished the challenge.

Did the match make up for the fact that the universe took an April weekend at Augusta away from us?  No. Did it seem like they were giving each other putts at the end to make sure the match went all the way to 18 green? Yes, I think they definitely did. Did it pump me up to play golf, and instill a feeling that the world will return to normal? Yes, it most certainly did.

Still, they could have worn some Swannies shirts


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