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Tiger and Phil. The two best golfers of their generation, with one of them being one of the two best golfers to ever play the game.
Tom and Peyton. The two best quarterbacks of their era. With one of them arguably being one of the two best to ever play that position.
On Sunday the four of them will gather on Tiger Woods’ home course in Florida, to compete in The Match. It’s the second straight week that golf is giving us something to divert ourselves from the unique, painful times we’re living in, in the name of charity.
And it’s something we can bet on. So there’s always that.
Here’s how it’s going to work. It’s an 18-hole match. The winner will be the team that wins the most holes. Which means it might not go the full 18. If a hole is tied it’s tied. There is no carryover, as there was last week. Low score wins the hole, obviously.
The front nine will be best ball. So you might not expect either Brady or Manning to figure in the scoring. Or at least not too much. But you never know. They’re both supposed to be about 4 or 5 handicappers. They will each get a stroke on the hardest par 3, hardest par 4 and hardest par 5. So that could definitely come into play.
On the back nine, the format will be modified alternate shot. Each player will tee off to start the hole. Each team will determine the best drive and then play alternate shot from there in. So that could get interesting, since the two QBs will have to hit some shots that will matter.
In the event of a tie, they’ll have a playoff on the 18th hole, which will be shortened to about 115 yards. Hey, last week it came down to an extra hole and closest to the pin. This time they’ll keep playing alternate shots until a winner is determined, so they could wind up playing 18 a few times.
You might remember that Tiger and Phil played a match two years ago that never really lived up to the hype. Phil was the winner. Nevertheless, he is once more the underdog, at +165. Tiger and Peyton are -195, which seems like a lot since these guys haven’t been playing. I went with the underdog last week and came very close to cashing. I think I would do the same this time, just because. And don’t think there won’t be some competitive juices going on between the QBs too. Maybe even more so.
As you might suspect there are a bunch of prop bets available, and they tend to be more fun. You can bet on who will be leading after three holes (a tie will get you +225, which I once bet in a Ryder Cup and nearly won), as well as after six, nine, 12 and 15.
You can bet on who will win the first hole. And the fifth, where they’ll be using something called the one club challenge, where as the name suggests players can only use one club. I hate gimmicks, but in cases like this it’s more than acceptable. On the eighth you can bet who will be closest to the hole on the tee shot. And needless to say, the ball has to be on the green to count.
On the Parx Online Casino, you can get 500-1 that somebody will have a hole in one. As I said last week, they could make that 5,000-1 and it might not be a good play. But it does give you something extra to root for, even if it’s only for a buck or two.
You can bet that anyone will hole out a shot from off the green, which will not include playoff or extra holes. At +240 for a yes, that might be worth it.
You can bet on the longest tee shot at No. 3. Again, the ball must end up in the fairway to count. And also there’s a nearest to hole available on holes 4, 12 and 16.
Then there’s the matter of when the match will be over. The 14th or earlier will get you +450. Holes 15-17 you have to lay -110. And the 18th or extra holes is +160. I might go with the last one, and put just a little on the first one, though in a made-for-TV event it’s hard to see it ending that early. Just saying. And I’m not a conspiracy kind of guy.
You can also bet on any of the four guys to hit the first fairway in regulation, and/or the first green.
No, it’s not the real thing. At least not yet. That’s still some three weeks away. But for the time being it’s what we’ve got. And it’s better than nothing. And with these four guys doing the entertaining, it’s actually way more than that. So enjoy. And hopefully place a few bets that get you some money back.
See you in Houston soon, for the re-start of the PGA Tour. Yes, it’s been too long.