The important part of The Match: Champions for Charity, played on Sunday, May 24th at Medalist Golf Club in Hobie, Florida, was not who was the better golfer. It was the cause: raising millions of dollars for coronavirus pandemic-related efforts intended to relieve those affected by COVID-19.
The Champions playing were Brady and pro golfer Phil Mickelson and Woods with retired Colts quarterback Peyton Manning. As far as charity goes, they pretty much knocked it out of the park as a group, quickly raising over $1.5 million in donations in just the first half-hour.
In the end, Woods and Manning beat Brady and Mickelson. The contrast between Brady's noted brilliance on the gridiron and how hapless he looked next to the likes of Woods made for some of the best entertainment, as well. From CNN:
The ultra-exclusive, and incredibly challenging, Medalist made the otherworldly quarterback look refreshingly human, as he struggled to find the fairway. Brady was the butt of the joke (quite literally when his pants split down the back) until the six-time Super Bowl winner holed-out from the fairway on the Par-5 7th hole in the greatest moment of the event.
To be fair, Brady has had less time to practice his swing than Manning, who is good friends with Woods and has played multiple rounds at the venue in the past.
It didn't help that Brady's old foe Manning was as thoroughly prepared as he ever was when playing the former New England Patriots and current Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB on the field. Manning turned in near PGA-level play with expert use of irons on every par 3 and an overall consistency that seemed to indicate he's spent a hell of a lot of his retirement time on the green.
A few social media users (bitter Patriots fans?) had fun with Brady, who probably played fine for a regular guy but looked particularly hapless next to the likes of Woods.
Brady's wardrobe malfunction didn't do him any favors.
The newly-minted Buccaneer had a sense of humor about that.
And to his credit, late in the match, Brady had a big moment.
His reputation—and Peyton Manning's, for that matter—for trash talk remained intact.
Speaking with TNT after the match, Manning said the experience was "amazing."
"It was an honor to be invited to this," he continued, "and it's something I will always remember and cherish."
In the end, however, all four top-tier athletes achieved their real goal in raising a hell of a lot of money for a good cause—$20 million for frontline healthcare workers and many others profoundly affected by the global pandemic.