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What is the format for The Match with Tiger, Phil, Peyton, and Tom?

If you’re familiar with the first two days of the Ryder Cup, you’ll understand how the format for The Match will work

Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods greet each other at The Match: Tiger vs Phil VIP after party at Topgolf Las Vegas on November 23, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for The Match

Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning will take on Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady on Memorial Day weekend to raise money for Covid-19 relief efforts and entertain sports fans. If you’re a Ryder Cup fan, you’ll be familiar with how The Match: Champions For Charity will work at The Medalist on May 24th. But it won’t be an exact replication.

Both the formats of Ryder Cup play on Friday and Saturday, best ball and alternate shot, will be used. And since it’s match play, we’re not looking for the lowest score after the day is over; each of the 18 holes will either be a win for one of the teams, or the hole will be “halved.”

There will be two formats used: Best ball on the front nine, and alternate shot on the back nine.

What is best ball?

Best ball sees each player hit their own ball from the tee until it’s holed, but only the lowest score is counted. If Tiger makes a 4 on a hole and Peyton makes an 8, only Tiger’s 4 will count. So if Phil and Tom each make a 5 on the same hole, even though combined they’d only have 10 strokes compared to 12 for their opponents, Mickelson and Brady would still lose the hole.

What is alternate shot?

It’s just like it sounds. If Phil hit the previous shot, Tom will hit the next one. And if Peyton hit the previous shot, Tiger will hit the next one using the same ball from the same spot.

But this won’t be a true alternate shot format since Tiger and Phil will likely out drive Peyton and Tom by as much as the quarterbacks could throw a football in the air in their primes. “Each participant will tee off and then the team will play alternate shot from the selected drive,” according to Golf Week, which you might recognize as a Shamble if you’re a weekend hacker playing a local fundraising tournament.

Usually in alt shot a team alternates who tees off on each hole. We’ll see if that holds in this modified format, but it matters in alt shot because if you tee off on 10, it also means you hit first on 12, 14, 16, and 18. We’ll bet the pros will end up on the even holes, and the amateurs on the odds because that means the high-handicappers are hitting one less shot.