Not for everyone, However, The Match III Using Steph Curry and Charles Barkley will draw ratings Make no mistake, there are plenty of golf fans who will have no use for The Match III, the made-for-television event that will be played Friday.
It isn’t golf, they will cry. It’s nothing more than a laugh-fest. How can they let Charles Barkley near a golf course on a television broadcast?
All of that, of course, is the point. In a landscape where golf broadcasts and sports broadcasts in general are taken very seriously, The Match III presented by Capital One on TNT Friday will be the exact opposite. It will be real golf shots, but for laughs and smiles. And in a pandemic world, that can’t be a bad thing, even if it leaves the hardcore golf fans cold.
Yes, there is one true golfer in the field, Phil Mickelson, but the rest of the event at Stone Canyon Golf Club outside of Tucson is about insults and jabs and maybe the kind of thing that happens in your weekend foursome.
The World Golf Hall of Famer is also the king of the PGA Tour money game at the beginning of every tournament week. Mickelson also loves to needle his opponent when it’s appropriate. He is also the only player to have played in the previous versions of The Match, beating Tiger Woods one-on-one in a playoff in the first match, then falling along with partner and quarterback Tom Brady to Woods and quarterback Peyton Manning in the second match. This time, Mickelson is paired with retired basketball star and now commentator Barkley against Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry and Manning.
The man whose swing has launched millions of YouTube views does not actually swing that bad all the time. In fact his swing has improved greatly. But it is not just Barkley’s swing that makes him perfect for the Match III. It is his blunt commentary, his willingness to trade barbs with those around him and his honesty about how bad that hesitation drop-kick swing truly is.
Curry is one of the greatest shooters in the history of the NBA and had three championship rings to back that up. But he has a love of golf and has a pretty decent game as well. He’s no Mickelson by any stretch of the imagination, but he has played in pro tournaments, even shooting a 1-over 71 in the first round of the Korn Ferry Tour’s Ellie Mae Classic in 2018. He is a talented celebrity golfer, and there has always been appeal in that.
Manning isn’t the best player in this group, but he has a high profile not just in sports but in popular culture as a spokesman for so many different products on television. And he has two Super Bowl rings. Manning is also sharp with a needle and can give back as much as he takes, much like Barkley.
if there is a problem with these made-for-television events, it’s when the golfers stop talking and start concentrating a bit too much on golf. What’s the point of having players wear a microphone if they aren’t talking? That’s where McCord comes in. The former CBS golf commentator who would push things to the limit in the booth – too much so for the folks who run the Masters – is coming out of retirement to work this telecast. He admits his role is to throw kerosene on the event if things start to get a little dull. Who is better for that than McCord?
If you are wondering what the point of all of this is going to be, it’s about ratings, but also about charity. The Match II was the most-watched sporting event on television for most of the pandemic summer, and it raised $20 million in charity funds. And this time, the charity for the event is historically black colleges and universities.
So yes, a lot of golf fans won’t watch The Match III, and even some sports fans will only glance at the event during commercials of whatever college football game they are watching. But the Match III will get some pretty good ratings as the latest incarnation of made-for-television golf.
Collect By: desertsun.com