Updated: May 29, 2020
I woke up today and heard the birds chirping. Jesus spoke to me. He said "Bobby, my son. The golf courses have re-opened."
And alongside my new ability to go out and play golf, I'm also blessed to be able to watch golf later this month when Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson renew their rivalry from last year's "The Match". Mickelson won in playoff holes FYI.
This time around there's a new twist – Tiger will be paired up with everyone's favorite big-headed, Papa John's eating, super bowl champion Peyton Manning, and Phil will be partnered with the greatest Tampa Bay Buccaneer of all time – Tom Brady.
Bobby Back-Nine is betting the entire stimulus check on this one. Don't tell my current girlfriend, she thinks I'm using the check for child support, and don't tell my ex-wife... she also thinks I'm using the check for child support.
We don't know much about the specific rules yet, because the main stream media is too busy obsessing over how 4 grown men can safely social distance while playing a game that has social distancing built right into it. So if it comes out next week that they're turning this into a two-man scramble I'll recant, but for now I'm locked in.
Let's explore the teams, then I'll give you my reasons for betting the way I am.
Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning
Tiger and Peyton have chemistry on the golf course. According to Business Insider, Peyton's old audibles at the line of scrimmage included "TIGER, TIGER" for a play snapped on one, and "Phil!" for a play snapped on two. When Tiger fell behind Rory McIlroy in the world rankings in 2013, Manning told Woods he couldn't use his name for plays snapped on one anymore.
Regardless of the chemistry these two might have, there are some huge question marks surrounding the couple.
Tiger is always hurt. He chose not to pick up the sticks at the 2020 Players Championship due to injury just two months ago. I'm guessing his plan was to make some dramatic start at The Masters and either win the thing, or blame injury for not making the cut.
Peyton Manning has been retired since 2015 when we rode off into the sunset of Super Bowl 50. Does anyone remember his performance in that game? It was terrible. His neck was practically broken, and every time he dropped back to pass it looked like he was trying to push a deflated balloon out to his receivers.
Peyton Manning and Tom Brady both have fairly smooth swings. However, Peyton has had 5 years of retirement to hone his craft on the golf course, while Tom Brady has continued to play at a competitive level in the NFL thanks to (what I assume is) some combination of illegal steroids from the future, selling his soul to the devil and drinking the blood of infants.
Regardless of TB12's demonic preparation routine for the football season, Manning will come into the match with the lower handicap.
Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady
Brady and Phil don't have nearly as much on-course experience together as Manning and Woods, which is why I had to photoshop them together in the image above.
But let's not forget that it was Phil who beat Tiger head-to-head in last year's event, and now he's brought in the only man on earth who could cast a shadow over the illustrious career of Peyton Manning. Bold move.
Brady recently moved to Florida. Was his reason to play for another NFL franchise, or could it have been a cover for him to get more practice in on the links? Perhaps Brady is just playing football for fun, and narrowing his focus on a new sport to dominate?
There's no denying that Brady owns Peyton on the football field, and golf is the most mental game in history. It's an easy thing to overthink – something Peyton Manning practically did before the snap on every play.
Although Brady's reported handicap (8) is a bit higher than Mannings (6), TB12's body has held together, and his mental fortitude is off the charts. If Phil can beat Tiger head-to-head, what's to stop the tandem when they get together later this month?
This will all come down to the mental games, and it didn't take Tom Brady long to shoot the first shot. He posted the image above on his Instagram right after the match was announced. In my opinion, these are the types of moves that make a difference.
Tiger is the best to ever do it, but there are too many injury question marks. How can we expect another cripple in Peyton Manning to come in and save the day?
I expect a close matchup. The current Woods vs. Mickelson odds show Woods/Manning as -210 money line favorites, while Mickelson/Brady are going off at +170. How the oddsmakers came to this conclusion, I have no idea. But I'm betting the damn mortgage on Phil and Tom Brady. Then I'll pay my child support.