“Nobody paid to see the Babe bunt”

Match II and TaylorMatch—Tiger, Phil, Rory, DJ, Rickie, and Wolff all rumored to be committed to televised golf matches in May


Did you know that apples are 25% air? That’s what allows them to float when you’re bobbing for them on Halloween. This Fun Fact Friday occurred to us because we all need something uplifting these days. Ba dum tss.

News and updates

  • In the past two days, reports have circulated that two star-studded golf matches will be coming to our TV screens in May. Details and analysis below.
  • The NCAA is considering a waiver that would allow schools to carry fewer collegiate sports next season. Should that happen, non-revenue sports like golf could be on the chopping block. Full Story from Brentley Romine

The Storylines


ESPN’s Darren Rovell confirmed on Wednesday that Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are set to play The Match II sometime next month. The ex-rivals will be joined by a couple of hacks named Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Brady will team up with Phil, Manning with Tiger, and the event will be aired live on TNT. An exact date, course, and format have not been confirmed—and crucially, the PGA Tour has not yet signed off.

Yesterday, Barstool’s Sam “Riggs” Bozoian reported that a crew of TaylorMade staffers have organized a match of their own with NBC. Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson will face off against Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff somewhere around Jupiter, Florida, in mid-May. The rest of the details are fuzzy.

Right now, both proposed matches raise more questions than answers. How many cameras will be on site? What will the announcing teams look like? How much labor and infrastructure is needed to make such an event happen? Above all, will the PGA Tour put a stop to the whole thing?

At this point, however, it is looking more and more like there will be some form of live golf to watch in May. Kind of exciting! Maybe!

So now feels like the time to reflect on the first edition of The Match and consider what the upcoming matches could learn from it.

The Golf – Tiger and Phil did not play well for the first nine holes of The Match. It was so bad that Charles Barkley, a renowned expert on awful golf, said, “I just want America to know this has been some awful golf.” So wherever the new matches take place, the courses should be set up for action. Have either easy pins or dicey ones so birdies and bogeys are always in play. No one is tuning in for a series of pars. By mid-May, we won’t have watched live golf in two months. Give us some excitement!

The Presentation – This one will be tricky. The usual amount of production won’t be possible—but that might actually be a good thing. For instance, we could certainly stand to hear more from the players and less from the announcers. Mic ’em up and let it roll.

As with the 2018 Match, we’d love to see a non-golf-industry commentator in the mix for Tiger and Phil. Bring Barkley back, or add an NFL personality who knows Manning and Brady. For the TaylorMade match, how about some other TaylorMade staffers to discuss the shots being played? A few insights plus a few lighthearted jabs, and you’d have an enjoyable telecast.

The Side Action – The PGA Tour threw its weight around in the first edition of The Match. It limited Tiger and Phil’s side action and restricted the kinds of wagers they could make. But if all additional wagers in May’s matches go toward charities battling COVID-19, the Tour might hesitate to play Debbie Downer. Let’s hope the cash flows more freely.

Aside from bets, we’d love to see both matches not stay married to a best-ball format. Have a few alternate-shot holes, long-drive bonuses, left-handed challenges, etc. Maybe the winner of the long drive challenge gets to throw his opponent’s ball in any direction he chooses. Let’s see some joy, color, and creativity. It’s a great opportunity to show people how much fun golf can be.

The Must-Sees of Public Golf Architecture in America

For an introduction to this running list as well as write-ups for the other courses we’ve selected, pay a visit to our website.

Thendara Golf Club (Thendara, New York)


While Thendara (then-DARE-uh) showcases narrow, peaceful “mountain golf” for its final nine, you will most remember the bold, open front nine by Donald Ross. Designed in 1921, and completed by Ross’s associate Walter Hatch, these nine holes feature adventurous greens and slopes. The 7th green has two swales perpendicular to the line of play, requiring either a confident high shot or a thoughtful running one. Within the 9th green is a massive plateau, 15 feet by 45 feet. If the pin is on top, this 208-yard par 3 is exceptionally demanding. Beware the tricky contours when the pin is pinched into one of the back corners, though. No matter the hole location, the plateau offers strategic choices both from the tee and on your (probable) chip.

Insider tip: Replay value is high. A mile north of Thendara is the quaint village of Old Forge, so you could plan an affordable trip that combines Old Forge’s vacation amenities with a deep dive into Ross’s architecture. -Colin Criss

Last September, Colin wrote about falling in love with hickory golf at Thendara for The Fried Egg website. It’s a good one. Full Story

Photo credit: Colin Criss

The Latest from The Fried Egg

Credit Hours: Stanford University Men’s Golf – The 2019 NCAA champions were excited to attempt to defend their title this spring. See how the young Cardinal and head coach Conrad Ray performed in the shortened 2019-20 season and how they are coping with the current hiatus.

Shotgun Start: SGS Spotlight on Nick Faldo: Part II with Sean Martin

An early recording of this Friday episode begins with some quick musings on the Match II as well as a tease for another Andy walk-up music segment he’s been prepping for all year. Also, before the NFL Draft, there’s a brief interlude on which PGA Tour player we might choose first for a real, actual game of football in pads. Then we get to Part II of our SGS Spotlight on Nick Faldo, with PGA Tour dot com’s Sean Martin joining us once again. This part picks up with his last two major wins, the emotional ‘92 Open and the legendary Norman collapse at the ‘96 Masters. We also go in depth on Faldo’s relationship with David Leadbetter and how it ended abruptly. We get into Faldo’s 21-year-old girlfriend and the run of marital troubles that, per his own writing, hastened the end of his career. We discuss his broadcasting work, the spectacular failure as captain of the 2008 Ryder Cup team and the continued drama out of that, and his legacy as an all-time great. Is that legacy impacted at all by his current presence in our lives on TV? Thanks again to Sean for joining us on this look back at Sir Nick. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.

Pro Shop

Don’t know about you, but at this point in the quarantine, we’re just excited to look at photos of golf courses. Want to add some cool golf photography to your collection? Check out the prints in The Fried Egg Pro Shop! Our database includes shots of Kingsley Club, Prairie Dunes, Pasatiempo, Rustic Canyon, and more. Shop today!

Photo credit: Andy Johnson