The Match 3: Curry and Manning Favored Over Mickelson and Barkley

The Match Part 3 is on and it goes down without Tiger Woods. Woods and Phil Mickelson have been the constant to this celebrity golf event. The two golf rivals faced off in the first installment of the Match in November 2018, with Mickelson walking away with the $9M winner-take-all prize.

The Match 2 last May attracted an average of 5.8M viewers, the highest golf ratings in cable history and it also raised $20M in COVID-19 relief. It featured four celebrities, playing in pairs. Woods was paired with two-time Super Bowl winner Peyton Manning. Meanwhile, Mickelson teamed up with six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady. Tiger would get his revenge over Lefty as he and Manning won the event.

Now comes Match 3 but we won’t see a grudge match here because Tiger Woods isn’t going to be around. But Mickelson and Manning will be returning, again on opposite sides. Both will be paired with superstar basketball players. Manning’s partner will be two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors while Mickelson will play with NBA legend Charles Barkley.

The Event Is Dubbed as the Match: Champions for Change

It will be held at the Stone Canyon Golf Club in the foothills of the Tortolita Mountains on Friday, a day after Thanksgiving. The Match 3 will benefit the Historically Black Colleges and Universities, a charity all four support.

Three Good Golfers and Charles Barkley

Stephen Curry isn’t just a three-point Deadshot in the NBA, he is also the NBA’s best golfer. Curry was the top golfer on his high school team’s golf team. While he pursued basketball instead of golf, he is good at both. He is a scratch golfer, which means he has zero handicap. In 2017 and 2018, he received a PGA exemption and played on the Tour ( now Korn Ferry Tour). Last July, Curry finished 4th at the American Century Championship in Stateline, Nevada.

Former NFL quarterback Manning is no slouch on the golf course himself as he is a 4.8 on the USGA handicap index. He has played in several pro-ams over the years including five with Tiger Woods. The last of those was in the Match 2 where he held his own and helped Woods exact revenge over Mickelson.

Mickelson is of course the only pro-golfer in this edition of the event. Lefty is a five-time Major winner and there’s no need to add to that. And then, of course, there’s NBA legend Charles Barkley whose handicap index is unknown and whose golf swing has been a source of ridicule up to this very day. But while Barkley’s golf game may be a laughingstock matter, Chuck’s personality makes up for the absence of Tiger’s star power.

An Improved Golfer?

Barkley is one of the NBA’s all-time greats. Known as one of the most dominant power forwards in the history of basketball, Barkley excelled in a position where he was undersized. The 11-time All-Star never won the NBA title but was the MVP in 1993 and played for the Dream Team.
The Chuckster did the broadcast in the first edition of the Match. Who could forget his “crappy” assessment of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson in that event?

Well, give him credit for stepping out of the booth and stepping into the golf course for the Match 3. According to Barkley, he got invited to the event, and couldn’t turn down the offer. So now we’re here.

Barkley has played in pro-ams before and he is a regular at the American Century Championship. But while Steph Curry placed 4th in this year’s ACC, Charles Barkley finished second, but from the bottom in the 70-man field. Earlier this week, however, Barkley says he’s worked on his golf, his swing especially. He claims that he is an improved golfer. But that we’ll have to see.

Making Things Interesting

Many people say that Barkley will be the event’s agent of chaos. His personality and claims of an improved golf game will make things interesting on Friday. The event will be played using a modified alternate shot format. Being paired with the only professional golfer in the event could help.

The format provides that both golfers will tee off separately and then exchange balls for their second shot. The pair will then decide which ball they want to play moving forward. With Mickelson alternating with Barkley, there is always a good chance that Phil makes up for Chuck’s shortcomings.

Golf betting sites don’t agree though. Curry and Manning are still listed as -180 betting favorites with two days to go before the event. Chuck and Lefty are currently pegged at +141 and the plus money is intriguing. Last month, Barkley already guaranteed victory. But then we know better about Chuck’s guarantees.

Steve Richardson

Steve Richardson started writing content online in 2013 and has yet to slow down. Since joining our team at, he has covered sports, casino news, gambling laws, and much more!

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