On Sunday we were plenty entertained in a rainstorm in the “sun-less state” of Florida by a charity golf match between Tiger Woods, Peyton Manning, Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady. The team of Tiger and Peyton prevailed by one hole as Manning’s excellent putting early on and Brady’s terrible tee shots proved to be the difference. The banter between the four stars was fantastic and fun.
If you remember, Tiger and Phil went head-to-head a couple of years ago in Las Vegas where Mickelson pulled out the victory. Woods on Sunday returned the favor to tie the “series” at one apiece. If and when they continue this rivalry, the question out there is who their playing partners would be.
The possibilities are endless but the right couple of guys (or gals) will be essential in getting this outing correct again. Do you go with quarterbacks again, or athletes from other sports, or do you get really daring and go with singers or movie stars? I’m going to give you a little taste of who might just make my list of candidates and who would be my top two playing partners for Tiger/Phil III.
Odds as of May 28 at Sportsbook
Brees, Romo Look Like Great Options
Let me start off with the possibility of the odds two being quarterbacks since that’s where we left off on Sunday.
Saints QB Drew Brees has a 9 handicap and has said he would love to play in this contest at some point. Brees has also said that Tiger and Phil could team up and he would recruit friend and ex-Masters champion Sergio Garcia as a partner. That actually sounds intriguing but it’s a different type of game for a different time.
Tony Romo would be the “hot pick” here coming off signing a monster $17-million-a-year contract with CBS. Romo also is an excellent athlete who has tried to qualify for golf’s U.S. Open on numerous occasions and once finished second in the voting for the Wisconsin Mr. Basketball award as the state’s high school player of the year (the Sportsbook was Caron Butler, who went on to spend 14 years in the NBA).
Plus, I’m giving Romo my personal vote of confidence (which means pretty much NOTHING … but I digress) after meeting him this past Halloween as we discussed how it’s Jon Rahm’s time to win a major (true story).
Don’t Forget About the Hoopsters
There are many basketball players to choose from as well. Obviously, following the acclaimed documentary “The Last Dance,” avid golfer Michael Jordan would be more than a popular selection. I’m just not sold that the good times and the laughs would fully be there if Jordan was part of this. He might take it to another level of competition and trash talking that might be too much for television.
Jordan’s teammate Scottie Pippen can play a decent round of golf as well. Speaking of “The Last Dance,” I was disappointed in Pippen when he had the opportunity to apologize for his actions during the 1994 game vs the Knicks when he benched himself. Instead Pippen said if he had it to do all over again, he would still make the same choice (wrong answer, Scottie).
Charles Barkley was part of the broadcast team on Sunday and he needs to stay in the booth because his golf game is gross to watch.
Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry is the favorite and deserves to be. Curry has a glowing personality and has played in the Ellie Mae Classic, which is part of the Korn Ferry Tour. That used to be called the Web.com tour and is essentially the equivalent of MLB’s Triple-A baseball. Curry definitely held his own with entertaining interviews and a four-day score of 74-74-71-86. Maybe he ran out of gas on Sunday but Curry still had three solid rounds against pro golfers.
Other Athletes/Actors Who Could Tee It Up
Other athletes who deserve consideration include ex-Atlanta Brave and Fox announcer John Smoltz, who played tournaments on the Champions Tour last year, and Hockey Hall of Fame sniper Brett Hull, who is an incredibly long hitter and has a handicap of 0.
The best of the rest of potential candidates includes movie stars, singers and even a president.
Samuel L. Jackson could be a good time. Jackson has played in plenty of pro-ams and actually has a clause in every movie contract that he is allowed to take time off from filming so he can play golf (also a true story).
Mark Wahlberg, also a lefty, would be a solid partner for Mickelson. Wahlberg was executive producer for the Showtime hit Entourage. He played himself on the show and was found out on the links on a couple of episodes (one included gambling on golf, which made it that much better). It’s also been reported that he broke 100 at Pebble Beach while playing with hockey great (and Dustin Johnson’s father-in-law) Wayne Gretzky.
Matthew McConaughey is a huge sports fan but for an event like this he might just be “alright, alright, alright.” Rocker Alice Cooper has a sweet-swinging handicap of 7, “JT” Justin Timberlake is a 5 and Canadian superstar Celine Dion would be a riot on the course (17 handicap). Dion owns golf courses in Quebec and Florida. This woman is no joke, let me repeat myself, she owns multiple golf courses in multiple countries (WOWZA). Kenny G has a handicap of 3 and is almost as good at golf as he is at playing the saxophone.
After weighing the votes, the best two playing partners would have to be Curry and Romo. Both guys are energetic, have great personalities and everyone loves them.
Harry’s Tiger/Phil III Hypothetical Matchup:
Stanford’s Tiger Woods & Davidson’s Steph Curry Vs Arizona State’s Phil Mickelson & Eastern Illinois’ Tony Romo