The Match 3 is on – here’s who is playing and who isn’t

Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods

Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods during the second Match, in May.

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Tiger Woods is out. 

Charles Barkley is in. 

The third rendition of The Match is swapping one of golf’s most lauded swings for perhaps its most lampooned, according to a Sportico report on Thursday. Barkley is not the only basketball player playing, either. Steph Curry is in, and they will play alongside Phil Mickelson, who has played in the first two Matches, and Peyton Manning, who played in the second edition. The Match 3 will take place on Nov. 27, the day after Thanksgiving. Sportico did not say where the event would be played, and the sports business website cited sources involved in the planning. 

Barkley was part of the first two Matches – as an announcer. 

During the first Match, in which Mickelson defeated Woods the day after Thanksgiving in 2018 at Shadow Creek (also the site of the PGA Tour’s CJ Cup this week), Barkley commentated before the event. During the second Match, in which Woods and Manning beat Mickelson and Tom Brady the day before Memorial Day at the Medalist Golf Club, Barkley commentated throughout. 

His appearances led to some comical commentary between Barkley and the golfers — and between Barkley and another commentator at one point, too. 

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On the 9th hole, announcers Trevor Immelman and Brian Anderson were in awe of Woods hitting a 25-yard bunker shot with about 2 feet. Barkley wasn’t. 

“Well, in fairness, he is a golf pro,” Barkley said. “If I saw a guy dunk a basketball, I wouldn’t get all excited about it.”

Justin Thomas, a Tour star serving as an on-course commentator, said he would be in awe of something else. 

“Chuck, I’d love to see your fat a– try to dunk a basketball right now,” whispered Thomas, who also coached Barkley in an effort to make a bogey or better on Medalist’s 18th hole – Barkley made a double.

Just a few days after the second Match, Mickelson was already talking about the potential for more. And for the potential of more athletes from different sports. 

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“What if Tiger and I were to team up and take on two younger players, or what if we were to team up with younger players and have it be a real high-level golf competition?” Mickelson told the Los Angeles Times in May. “I think there’s a market for that. But you have to have some personality in there, too, so a guy like Justin Thomas showed how funny he is and he would add a lot to an event like that.

“I think you could showcase guys like Steph Curry and Michael Jordan or Tony Romo and Patrick Mahomes, who are all good golfers, elite talents and have great personalities. Those personalities are going to come out with this event. Or you could have someone who loves the game and is competitive but is really entertaining like Larry David and Bill Murray. I think that could shine.” 

Curry, also an avid player, has wanted in since at least the day of the second Match. 

“Now we cooking! The US Open medal convo got my dying….then Phil bout hits the ball. TB12 waiting for the back 9 like Super Bowl LI…I want in on The Match 3 #TheMatch2” Curry tweeted during the event.

It sounds like he’ll be getting his wish.

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Nick Piastowski Editor