Capital One’s The Match: Champions for Change – a modified alternate golf shot match play event pitting PGA legend Phil Mickelson and NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley against NBA superstar Stephen Curry and NFL legend Peyton Manning – tees off at 3 p.m. ET Friday at Stone Canyon Golf Club in Oro Valley, Ariz.
And while it’s possible The Match III won’t feature a signature moment like six-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Tom Brady splitting his pants, as happened during The Match II in May, the day-after-Thanksgiving event figures to add plenty of laughs to the holiday weekend sports menu.
Regardless of the outcome, the real winners will be Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The event will feature donations while raising awareness for diversity, equality and inclusion. It comes six months after Mickelson and Brady fell to Manning and Tiger Woods in The Match II, which raised $20 million for pandemic relief and was watched by an average of 5.8 million viewers.
WarnerMedia will make donations to five HBCUs: Morehouse College, Howard University, Alabama A&M, Hampton University and Winston-Salem State University. Those donations will be used primarily to fund golf or sports journalism programs. Each golfer also has selected schools to receive donations: Mickelson (Jackson State), Tuskegee (Barkley), Howard (Curry), and Grambling State, Southern University at New Orleans, and Lane College (Manning).
A Look at the Pairings
Barkley is as well known for his less-than-textbook golf swing as he is for being an 11-time NBA all-star and his sharp wit as an analyst. He will play from his own set of tees Friday. Mickelson, who made the cut at The Masters earlier this month, looks forward to showcasing a course owned by Mickelson Golf Properties.
“While we may need a handicap for Chuck, I’m looking forward to playing with Peyton and Stephen and to help raise money for another important cause,” Mickelson said in a statement. “It’s also going to give fans and viewers an up-close look at Stone Canyon Golf Club, a place that I’m extremely proud of and excited to show how special it is.”
Fans of the Golden State Warriors certainly will keep a close eye on Curry and his left hand. The two-time MVP played just five games a season ago after breaking a bone in his left hand. He will team up with Manning, who along with Mickelson held a 3-up lead on the front nine in The Match II before faltering down the stretch.
A Look at the Action
Bovada lists Manning and Curry with a -190 moneyline to win the event, while Mickelson and Barkley are listed at +150. Barkley has plenty of focus when it comes to the market, being listed at +400 to sink a putt of at least 30 feet, +600 to hole out from off the green, and +2500 to hole out from at least 100 yards away.
For comparison, both Manning and Curry are +150 to make a 30-foot putt, +400 to hole out from off the green, and +1500 to sink a shot of at least 100 yards.
A hole-in-one for Barkley? You can play that at +8000.