“There’d Be Gains in Awareness”
Black Friday. The day that follows American Thanksgiving and a day where, if you aren’t going out to visit a mall, Walmart, or Best Buy, watching something like “The Match” is a good way to stave off the lingering effects of tryptophan. “The Match”? You know, those exhibition matches that have been getting featured involving some of the best male golfers in the world.
The original match was a cool exhibition as it pitted two of the best male golfers that this generation has seen. “Tiger vs Phil” was the first one back in 2018. Even though I was somewhat intrigued and a little put off by pre-event press, I never tuned-in as I didn’t have Pay-Per-View.
“The Match 2 – Champions For Charity” featured Tiger and Phil in a team format as they were paired with future Hall of Fame NFL quarterbacks Peyton Manning (now inducted) and Tom Brady. The event raised $20M for COVID-19 relief. In total there has now been five versions of “The Match”. One that featured the NBA’s Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry, Charles Barkley, Manning, and Phil. Plus others, featuring the likes of Aaron Rodgers and Bryson DeChambeau.
Speaking of DeChambeau, he just finished playing in his second match, this time against his arch-rival Brooks Kopeka. If you follow golf, you don’t need to be informed about their feud. If you follow my “blogsite” you’ll also know that I’ve never shied away from expressing my opinion that it’s a “faux feud”. If there’s no imbecilic incentive program (Player Impact Program… PIP) I don’t think it’s even a thing. I will continue to stand by that. The way that the grudge has evolved, appears to have been contrived by a former writer of the WWE. “Beergate”, the “Brooksy” fiasco where if fans uttered the word, would get thrown out of events. Then magically, they were best friends at the Ryder Cup. If you have as much animosity as these guys claimed to have for one another, you aren’t that “chummy”. Diplomatic? Sure.
So between the players themselves, one of which who nauseates me when he speaks and the other who I don’t find to be engaging, and the faux feud. I didn’t feel compelled to watch at all. I didn’t mind the idea of a 12-hole format if that counts. Judging from eyewitness accounts of what took place over social media, it sounded like I didn’t miss too much. A 4&3 drubbing of DeChambeau in a 12-hole match. Seriously? It was over before it begun. Piss-poor audio at times (it happens), the players didn’t really engage too much, and there were some complaints about the golf course itself.
I appreciate the philanthropic side of things that “The Match” offers. I honestly do. But, “The Match” is becoming so common that it almost feels like the UFC. Remember when they were once a year and without weight classes? Now, they’re on what, UFC 931? Since 2018 there has been five editions, with none in 2019. So how about a little change? Here’s my proposal for a match. We’ll dub it…
“UTNT presents The Match – Equity and Inclusion”.
First, we need to get the commissioners from the respective tours to get another for a meeting (Jay Monahan and the incoming Mollie Marcoux Samaan). They love the pitch, wholeheartedly and agree on the terms. They’d approach the two top-ranked golfers in the Rolex OWGR from their respective tour’s. At this time, Collin Morikawa, Jon Rahm, Nelly Korda and Jin Young Ko would be the players involved. But, Rahm says no ,so, we approach Dustin Johnson. DJ jumps at the opportunity with an emphatic “F@# Yeah!”. Unfortunately, Morikawa falls ill (not COVID-19 or a variant) and Tiger (who was going to commentate with Phil and Christina Kim) steps in.
Teams would be Nelly Korda/Dustin Johnson vs Jin Young Ko/
Collin Morikawa Tiger Woods. Three of them are staff players for TaylorMade Golf, while Ko is an equipment free agent. Thus, one of golf’s equipment giants signs on as a title or presenting sponsor, effectively renaming it “TaylorMade Golf presents UTNT’s The Match – Equity and Inclusion”. Thank God, Allah, Buddha (et al) because – I can’t finance the event out of my pocket as presenting sponsor. “Penny ads” don’t go far. Many thanks to the membership of Cypress Point Club for offering their club to host the event.
The event could be a “Shamble”. Both genders would play from tees, approximately 6,300 yards. The yardage selected, offers much in the way of lot “risk and reward” for everyone playing. Exciting short Par 3 holes would be on the menu. The Superintendent gets to choose the tee box and hole locations. Six holes with easy locations, six holes medium, and six hard to “Hell”acious. Super’s like to have fun too. All players would have their own secondary charity of choice. The “Long Drive” would be the only segregation, but, the “Closest to the Pin” holes, it’s every man and woman for themselves.
This event would benefit everyone involved. After a number of shanks and horrible marketing decisions (PIP), the PGA TOUR would receive a lot of positive press for showing their support in trying to help the LPGA gain exposure. That’s all the PGA TOUR really gets out of it. I mean, THEY ARE the PGA TOUR.
The LPGA gains eyeballs, because, viewers who were previous unwilling to watch their TOUR realize that “These Gals are Great”. Which, the LPGA now recognizes as their tagline. There’s also the fact that the OWGR has an American flag at the top. Convenient timing and this good fortune further cements more interest from American viewers. Now, a competitor network of NBC/Golf Channel picks up weekly coverage of LPGA events. Now the LPGA is working with a network that doesn’t switch over to football during an exciting multi-player playoff. All of this means that purses now have gotten bigger and suddenly, there’s a little more parity between the two tour’s.
Charities still get their donations and at the end of the day. Everybody wins. Not to mention, this one event paves the way for an annual co-sanctioned PGA/LPGA event that has world-ranking points on the line. Don’t worry though, there are still “opposite-field events” for those not playing.
My event changes the golf world.
Until The Next Tee!