As the British Open lies ahead on the golf schedule laster this month, two of the more prominent names in the sport, Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau, will not be joining the fields at the Scottish Open or John Deere Classic in preparation. Instead, though, the two fiery personalities will be competing against one another -- and alongside NFL mega-stars Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers -- in The Match 4 at The Reserve at Moonlight Basin in Big Sky, Montana on Tuesday at 5 p.m. ET.
Mickelson recently said that the locale was chosen because it's a difficult place to judge altitude and carry, and DeChambeau hits it so far that he was going to struggle with his numbers (I can't imagine what else Lefty would have thrown in if he'd known DeChambeau would be without his caddie).
Regardless, this is a terrific matchup of two stars -- DeChambeau and Rodgers -- who are simply better players than their opponents in Mickelson and Brady. However, the latter squad has a few advantages over the former. They have both competed in this format before, and both are world-class trash talkers who thrive when they can get folks out of their element. It's seemingly not that difficult to accomplish that with DeChambeau, which is why Tuesday evening should be so fun.
Let's take a closer look at The Match 4 and what to expect from these guys on Tuesday.
This is a good place to start. The Match 4 will be broadcast on TNT, TBS and truTV starting at 5 p.m. ET on Tuesday evening. That will be middle of the afternoon in Montana, and the views of one of the prettier slivers of the country should be phenomenal, especially as the day wears on. All the normal bells and whistles we've gotten used to at events like this will apply. On-course mics and the ability to communicate with broadcasters hosting the event will again likely be the premier feature. There will be a pregame show at 4 p.m. on the B/R app and the Bleacher Report YouTube channel that will feature golfers trying to hit mobile golf carts, which could be amazing.
Format for the match
Modified alternate shot will be used for this event with on-course wagers being made, as they were in previous iterations of this event. The exhibition will again be played as a match-play event, which is great because, even if it's a blowout, it will still feel closer than if one team was up by 15 in stroke play. There will be a one-club challenge, a closest-to-the-pin challenge and a long-drive challenge on a 777-yard par-5, which might finally break Bryson in half.
Where is the money going?
These matches have been tremendous on the fundraising side. From the money that was raised for first responders during the pandemic when Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning faced Mickelson and Brady last year to the money that was raised for HBCUs in the fall during the match between Steph Curry and Peyton Manning facing Charles Barkley and Mickelson, this event is always big on the charity. This year, My Brother's Keeper Alliance, Feeding America and the Montana Food Bank Network will be the beneficiaries.
Where is Charles Barkley?
I'm glad you asked! Barkley, who played in this event back in November as he and Mickelson throttled Curry and Manning, is not playing this time around, but he will be on the broadcast alongside Larry Fitzgerald, Cheyenne Woods and Trevor Immelman. You could make two more teams out of those four analysts that could legitimately contend with the two that will be teeing it up this week. Brian Anderson will again be the host of the event.
Odds provided via William Hill Sportsbook
DeChambeau and Rodgers are the favorites for obvious reasons. Rodgers is much better at golf than Brady is, and DeChambeau is better than Mickelson (even if Lefty has won a major championship more recently). The reason I like Mickelson and Brady here is because I think they will be able to get DeChambeau and Rodgers out of their element in uncomfortable ways (like this).
There's a scenario on Tuesday in which Bryson is too busy screwing himself into the ground while trying to hit 600-yard drives because Brady whispered something to him after the second hole to consider how to actually win. If Brady and Mickelson legitimately care about winning (and I think they do), they should be able to goad DeChambeau and Rodgers into some ridiculous decisions and shots and steal The Match 4 in Montana. Pick: Brady-Mickelson (+138) over DeChambeau-Rodgers (-175)