Johnson, McIlroy Headline COVID-19 Relief Match for Charity

The sports world is clinging on to the hope that some type of entertainment will be provided for the people in these coming months. Well, that hope grew a bit more as some of golf’s biggest names will get together for a charity match that will raise money for COVID-19 relief funds.

Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff will play in a televised event on May 17 that gives golf fans the chance to watch live golf since the sport was postponed in March due to the coronavirus outbreak. It will be Johnson and McIlroy teamed up against Fowler and Wolff in a team skins game.

The TaylorMade Driving Relief will be played at Seminole Golf Club in Juno Beach, Fla. This event will be televised live on NBC-TV and streamed for free online.

In fact, this will be the first-ever televised event from this particular course, and the public will not be permitted onto the grounds.

“It’s been difficult to witness what so many are enduring over the last several weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” McIlroy said in a statement. “I hope that we can provide some respite and entertainment for those tuning in across the globe. Dustin and I will have a lot of fun together, and our games will fit well as a push to raise funds and awareness on May 17.”

Johnson and McIlroy will be playing for the American Nurses Foundation while Fowler and Wolff are playing for the CDC Foundation.

Not The Only One

This won’t be the only live golf event that will be televised in the near future. On Memorial Day weekend, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning will play in a similar type of event in a team skins format.

Fans down there in Florida were hoping that Brady’s first sporting event would be suiting up for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Back in March, Brady signed a two-year, $60 million deal to play for the Bucs. Although the NFL just held its annual draft, no one is sure yet just how this season is going to play out.

Not all details of that event with Woods, Mickelson, Brady and Manning have still yet to be finalized, but it is another example of how golf is trying everything it can to provide some live sports for the fans. It will, however, air live from 2-6 p.m. EST on NBC, GolfChannel, NBCSN, and SkySports.

“We are excited about the safe and responsible return of live golf and the opportunity to raise significant funds for those on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan.

In addition to these fundraising efforts, PGA Tour Charities will have a “text-to-donate” and online donation platform that will allow viewers to send more donations if they choose.

According to the PGA Tour, the event will abide by very social distancing measures, local mandates and “will utilize appropriate testing measures to help protect the health and safety of the golfers, production crew and others on site.”


Just this past weekend, the state of New Jersey opened up golf courses to the public with certain restrictions that include social distancing measures. One thing Jersey has done to cut down on numerous people touching the same hole area is placing foam devices in there.

This allows the ball to go down into the hole slightly, but the golfer can just easily knock it out with his or her club and move on to the next one.

The sport of golf has been a little more innovative and willing to push the envelope in recent weeks. But that’s also because this is a scenario where people don’t have to be on top of one another. Whatever the case is, we’re glad that some live sports are coming back into our lives.

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Logan is based in Los Angeles and is an avid poker player having played in tournaments across the globe. He covers both poker & regulatory affairs.