In what has become something of a Black Friday tradition, there will be another post-Thanksgiving celebrity golf challenge this year. Two years ago it was The Match I between longtime rivals Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. This year it’s The Match 3, which can be viewed at 3 p.m. ET on Friday on TNT. It will feature Mickelson teaming up with NBA legend Charles Barkley. They will take on NFL legend Peyton Manning and current NBA star Steph Curry.
The made-for-TV showdown is a modified alternate-shot match play format. All players will hit tee shots, after which each team will choose their preferred tee ball to play toward the hole.
“Novelty events, like The Match 3, are challenging for bookmakers to price without any real data to base lines on,” said BetMGM‘s VP of Trading, Jason Scott. “The only advantage that sportsbooks have is that it is equally difficult for bettors to handicap the event.”
The Match 3 odds
Here are a look at odds for The Match 3:
Manning and Curry are favored in The Match 3 over Mickelson and Barkley at most every book.
Most books are offering a ton of prop bet options on The Match 3, including:
- Charles Barkley to hit the first fairway with tee shot: +162
- Peyton Manning to hit the first fairway with tee shot: -175
- Hole in One for any player: +3300
- All players on the Green with tee shot on Hole 6: +900
Manning has a handicap index of 6.4, according to Golf.com, which suggests he is “fully capable of breaking 80, though he doesn’t necessarily do it all the time.” Curry is also an excellent golfer and has suggested in the past that he will try to play professionally when his basketball career is over. The Golden State Warriors star played four rounds on the Korn Ferry Tour and posted rounds of 74-74-71 and 86, according to Golf.com.
Mickelson needs no introduction as the only pro in The Match 3. Barkley, meanwhile, most recently participated in the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship Tournament in July. In a field of 70 golfers, the pro basketball Hall of Famer finished 69th.
Here is a look at betting splits from BetMGM.
Mickelson-Barkley (+135): 68.8%
Curry-Manning (-182): 31.2%
Mickelson-Barkley (+135): 39.0%
Curry-Manning (-182): 61.0%
The Match 3: When and where is it happening?
When: Friday, Nov. 27 at 3 p.m. ET
Where: Stone Canyon Golf Club, Oro Valley, AZ
How to watch: TNT
Live Content: Bleacher Report, with scoring and hole-by-hole updates at PGATour.com
Changing elevations, beautiful rock formations and desert flora are part of the views and experience at Stone Canyon, which Mickelson Golf Properties took over in 2014. The par-72, 7,317-yard course was designed by Jay Morrish, and the topogrophy and setting is spectacular.
The event takes place at Stone Canyon Golf Club at the base of the picturesque Tortolita mountains in Oro Valley, Arizona. That’s near Tucson with views of the majestic Santa Catalina Mountains. Drivable par 4s and reachable par 5s will make for a fun and entertaining mix of holes, as will the golf swing of Charles Barkley.
Also, an entertaining broadcast is expected with Gary McCord providing fun on-course commentary and throwing “kerosene on the fire.”
If the match isn’t settled after 18 holes, or an additional betting opportunity is provided to the participants, there is a 107-yard par-3 19th hole to help settle matches and bets.
The Champions for Change match will spotlight diversity initiatives and benefit historically black colleges and universities.
History of ‘The Match’
Charles Barkley was a TV commentator for The Match II, won by Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning over Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady. That was the “Champions for Charity” match in May this year that raised more than $20 million for COVID-19 relief.
The Match II was the highest-rated golf event ever to appear on cable TV, and doubled the rating of the Sunday coverage of the US Open and PGA Championship.
The first installment of The Match was a head-to-head competition in 2018 between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson at Shadow Creek Golf Course in Las Vegas. Mickelson prevailed in extra holes under the lights as darkness set in. Shadow Creek was also the host course for last month’s CJ Cup PGA Tour event.