Plantar Fasciitis be damned, we are going to see some golf shots from Tiger Woods this week. Whether it be a Major, a father-son exhibition, a driving range session, or a charity event like The Match, the sports world takes notice in these fleeting moments we still get to watch Tiger Woods pick up a golf club post-accident, so plenty of eyeballs are expected to fall on The Match VII. Bettors will also be intersted to know The Match VII rules.
The seventh iteration of The Match will feature new business partners Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy versus USA’s longest running Match Play duo, Justin Thomas & Jordan Spieth. This will be Tiger’s first appearance in this event since winning The Match II in May 2020 alongside his partner, Peyton Manning. Thomas, Spieth and McIlroy are set to make their debuts in The Match.
The Match VII Odds
The Match VII Props
DraftKings Sportsbook is providing several props, in addition to the outright winner for The Match VII. Click to bet now.
|Longest Tee Shot: Hole 7||-110||-110|
|To Lead First||-110||-120|
|To Lead After 3 Holes||-110||-120|
|To Lead After 6 Holes||-110||-120|
How To Watch The Match VII
Ahead, we’ll go through everything you need to know before placing your bets on The Match VII this Saturday, December, 10th. TV coverage begins 6 p.m. ET on TNT. It be played in prime time under the lights for the first time in this showcase’s history. The event will take place at the Pelican Golf Club in Belleair, in the greater Tampa, Florida area.
The Match VII Rules
The format will be Best Ball over 12 holes. In Best Ball, all four players will play their own ball on every hole, taking the lowest of the two partners’ scores. For example, if Tiger bogeys the first hole and Rory makes par, their team will take par for the first hole. Iterations of The Match in the past have used other formats like Shamble and Alternate Shot. There will also be side contests throughout the 12 holes with ancillary prizes for charity at stake.
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The Pelican Club Course Overview
While it remains to be seen how The Pelican Club will be re-routed for this modified 12-hole showcase, it is a 6,933 par-70 Donald Ross design, which just underwent a restoration project in 2018. The Pelican Club takes inspiration from Augusta National, helped by Fred Ridley’s involvement. If looking to compare to another PGA TOUR course, think Detroit Golf Club with Bermuda instead. It’s very forgiving off the tee with its defense coming from on and around the green. The Pelican Club has also been host on the LPGA Tour for each of the last three years.
- The Match I: Phil Mickelson def. Tiger Woods
- The Match II: Tiger Woods & Peyton Manning def. Phil Mickelson & Tom Brady
- The Match III: Phil Mickelson & Charles Barkley def. Peyton Manning & Steph Curry
- The Match IV: Bryson DeChambeau & Aaron Rodgers def. Phil Mickelson & Tom Brady
- The Match V: Brooks Koepka def. Bryson DeChambeau
- The Match VI: Tom Brady & Aaron Rodgers def. Patrick Mahomes & Josh Allen
Handicapping The Match VII
Best Ball format typically gives advantage to the best overall player in the match, which in this case is the current No. 1 player in the World Golf Rankings, Rory McIlroy. If for example, I were to play as Rory McIlroy’s partner in Best Ball versus Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth, we would actually stand a chance, because if Rory brings his A-game for 12 holes, he can shoot five or six strokes under par without needing any help. Conversely in a format like Alternate Shot, a more balanced duo like Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth has the advantage.
As far as the course fit goes, Pelican Club’s set up as a short, second shot course should help level the playing field for Tiger Woods, whose recent loss of driving distance will not prevent him from generating birdie looks here. Donald Ross courses are known to reward players with the best short game, which is an area that all four players in this match thrive.
My Bet to Win: Justin Thomas & Jordan Spieth
This match up has been handicapped at about Even odds on either side for the last month or so, however following Tiger’s withdrawal from last week’s Hero World Challenge due to Plantar Fasciitis, the market has moved slightly in favor of Team Thomas & Spieth. In Tiger’s words, he has no restrictions hitting golf shots, he just can’t walk. So taking Tiger at his word, I’m not fading his team on the basis of the Plantar Fasciitis injury alone, considering everyone will be riding in golf carts for 12 holes.
Instead, I’m drawn to the intangible advantages that come with a comfy Match Play pairing. Thomas & Spieth have been attached at the hip in Team Match Play, dominating the Presidents Cup most recently this past September, and playing together as a pairing since the 2018 Ryder Cup. They have learned how to ham & egg together, and although a charity exhibition, I fully expect Justin Thomas to come motivated to beat Tiger Woods in any sort of competition.
If we use Major Futures as a more analytical baseline to handicap this matchup, it’s a clear advantage to Team Thomas & Spieth. Looking at 2023 Masters Odds, Rory is the favorite at 9-1, but Justin Thomas is close behind at 12-1, followed by Spieth (18-1), then Woods (60-1). For PGA Championship odds, it’s a more balanced distribution with Thomas and Rory listed as co-favorites (12-1), followed by Spieth (20-1) and Woods (65-1).
The course will allow Tiger to remain competitive, but also takes away from the advantage Rory can gain with his driver. This is a second shot course, and from fairway to green, the margins between McIlroy and Thomas are razor thin. I expect Spieth to contribute on more holes than Woods will, so I like team Thomas & Spieth in a close one under the lights.
Good luck navigating The Match VII rules and odds!