Four days remain until Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning face off against Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady in Sunday’s The Match: Champions for Charity event, but the trash talking is already in full swing. All four athletes are having fun trying to top each other when it comes to digs at their opponents.
The charity exhibition, which will take place at Woods’ home course, the Medalist in Hobe Sound, Florida, is best-ball on the front nine, and an alternate shot format on the back nine. Woods and Manning are strong favorites to win.
The Match: Champions for Charity Odds
That hasn’t stopped the trash-talking from Mickelson and Brady toward Woods and Manning.
“I can’t wait to go to Tiger’s place and take him down,” Mickelson told Golfweek on Tuesday. “Tiger thinks he has a huge advantage playing there because he was insistent that this event is played on his home course. Despite everyone else wanting to play it elsewhere. That’s fine. We’ll take it to him and Peyton.”
Woods, Mickelson Embrace Trash Talking
Woods and Mickelson have been rivals since junior golf in Southern California, despite Mickelson being five years older. Their relationship has never been overly friendly, but it has become more cordial over the past few years.
Now both Woods and Mickelson feel more comfortable trash-talking one another, knowing that it’s in jest. When the two met in The Match in November of 2018, the banter was almost non-existent. That’s something Mickelson said will change this time around.
“Tiger and I clamped up the first time,” Mickelson said. “That won’t happen again.”
In a press conference to kick off The Match: Champions for Charity, Mickelson displayed the trophy he won at the 2018 edition. Woods countered by donning the Masters green jacket he won in 2019.
Brady, Manning Getting in on the Action
Not to be outdone by the Woods and Mickelson, Manning and Brady are enjoying some verbal jousting of their own. Manning fired the first salvo, telling reporters the competition had to be in Florida because Brady couldn’t leave the state, joking about Brady’s recent faux pas when he mistakenly walked into the wrong house while trying to visit Tampa Bay offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich.
Brady got off a jab of his own. When he was asked if he ever got tired of beating Manning, the six-time SuperBowl champion said, “No, you kidding me? Eli’s the one that I’m actually happy I’m not playing,” Eli, also known as Peyton’s younger brother, defeated Brady in two Super Bowls.
Mickelson said he’s enjoyed watching his partner take digs at Manning.
“I think having Peyton there will be a big part of it because he gives me and Tom somebody to rough up,” Mickelson said. “Peyton, when he comes back at you, he does it in a funny way that elicits laughter from you as opposed to a defensive response.”