NBC is televising the TaylorMade Driving Relief 2020 Sunday at 2 pm EDT.
It's been two months since we’ve seen PGA Tour players in action. And the scheduled restart of the season is still another month away. But this week at least we get something. Namely, the TaylorMade Driving Relief skins game, from historic Seminole in Florida. It will feature Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson going up against Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff, in an event to raise money for those who need help to deal with the Coronavirus. Team McIlroy will be competing for the American Nurses Foundation, and Team Fowler for the CDC Foundation. And in these trying times, there’s no such thing as an unworthy cause. So good for everyone involved in putting this on. And it will be televised Sunday afternoon on NBC. And boy could the sports world use any such diversion.
But the best news for bettors is that you can of course wager on this thing. So …
All lines from Parx Online Casino:
Since Rory is the World No. 1, and Johnson, a former top-ranked guy who now checks in at No. 5, they are the obvious favorites at -175. You can get +138 on the underdogs, which I think actually has come down a bit. Just keep in mind that we have no idea what kind of game shape these guys are in. So there is the element of the unknown, which can work either way. Fowler, it should be mentioned, has been a part of three winning teams with Philly’s own Buddy Marucci in the club’s member-pro tournament. I’m assuming that should mean something. But again, I’m not sure even the participants themselves have a really good idea of how they might perform. And before you sell Wolff too short, the 21-year-old has already won once and is considered one of the better new faces. While I would like to get a little better odds on the dogs, I’d probably lean that way. For no good reason. Just call it a hunch.
It should be mentioned that all safety precautions will be followed, and that no caddies are allowed. The players will either carry their own bags or use a trolley cart. So it will be different. GPS devices can be used, and the players will be miked. Otherwise what’s the point?
Each team will start with $500,000 in the bank. Holes 1 through 6 are worth $50,000 apiece. Players will play their own ball, and the low score on a hole takes it. If there’s a tie, the money carries over. So if there’s like a bunch of ties in a row it can get, well, more interesting as you go along. Especially late, if a lot is on the line. And it’s not how many holes you win, but how much money. That’s how the winner is determined.
Holes 7-15 increase to $100,000 each. The pot for the 17th increases to $200,000, and at 18 it goes up to $500,000. If there’s a tie on the final hole they go back to 17 again. And if there’s still a tie they’ll return there one more time, only this time it’ll come down to a closest to the pin. The par-3 hole will measure approximately 125 yards in case there’s a playoff.
Got all that? Wait, there’s more. As in separate pots for birdies ($25,000), eagles ($50K) and double eagles ($150K).
And there’s plenty of prop bets to keep you occupied as well. Here’s a few of them: You can get 150-1 that somebody will make a hole in one. You could give me double or triple that and it’s still not a good play, but I’m sure some will take it just because. Hey, it’s a free world. You can also bet on any of the four players to hit the fairway on the first hole, hit the green in regulation on the first hole or make a birdie on the first hole. McIlroy will get you +300 to do that right out of the gate, while Wolff is high man at +400. Just saying.
On No. 5 you can bet if any player will hit it in the bunker. You can bet if anyone will hole out from off the green on any hole. Or who will be closest to the pin on No. 8. Or who will be leading after the 9th. As well as after 3, 6, 12 and 15 (ties are no bets). You can take a chance on the longest tee shot at No. 3, or 4, 7 and 9. Rory does average more off the tee than the other three, in case you were wondering.
There’s even a few more, so check them all out. If nothing else, it’s a step back in the right direction as we begin the long road to recovery and normalcy. At the very worst you can simply watch and enjoy. Or, as I suspect many will do, you can give yourself some rooting interests. It figures to be maybe the best Sunday afternoon us sports fans have been fortunate enough to experience in awhile.
And then next week we can take a look at The Match, another such charitable endeavor between Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning against Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady. You can bet there will be even more propositions offered on that one.
Finally, we can get close to being all back in again. Fore!