The Match: Phil Mickelson, Charles Barkley beat Peyton Manning and Steph Curry in Arizona
Phil Mickelson and former NBA star Charles Barkley cruised to victory over Golden State Warriors legend Steph Curry and retired Super Bowl-winning quarterback Peyton Manning in The Match: Champions for Change.
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 28/11/20 7:02am
Phil Mickelson and Charles Barkley claimed bragging rights over Steph Curry and Peyton Manning with a 4&3 victory in the latest of instalment of The Match: Champions for Change.
The pair were pre-match underdogs for the 18-hole showdown at Stone Canyon Golf Club in Arizona, with Golden State Warriors star Curry a scratch golfer and two-time Super Bowl champion Manning a single-digit handicapper.
Played under the modified alternate shot format, where each player hits a tee shot and then the best ball from each team is used, Mickelson and his NBA legend playing partner led from the third hole onwards to secure a convincing win in the entertaining Thanksgiving contest.
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Manning took the first hole with a three-foot par and almost holed out for eagle at the par-five next, only for Curry to miss the return putt and allow Mickelson level the contest with a birdie.
Mickelson drove the par-four third green and rolled in a winning birdie after Barkley ran his eagle try from the fringe five feet past, with the five-time major champion tapping in for par at the next to claim a third straight hole.
The lead increased to three when the Mickelson/Barkley combination made a two-putt par at the fifth, having conceded their rivals' bogey attempt when Manning thinned a bunker shot into the rough and Curry then chunked a chip.
Manning missed a six-foot birdie attempt to claw a hole back at the sixth and Curry failed to convert a bogey attempt from a similar distance at the next, briefly increasing the deficit to four, but the pair claimed a hole back when Barkley squandered a four-foot par attempt at the eighth.
Barkley lagged an eagle attempt to three feet at the 10th to set Mickelson up for birdie at the 10th, only for the duo to lose the next after some wayward tee shots left them searching in the vegetation for their ball.
The lead returned to four after Manning and Curry losing the 12th, despite the latter nearly making a hole-out from a greenside bunker, with the pair then three-putting the next to miss the chance to close the gap.
Both teams made regulation pars at the short 14th hole, before Mickelson sealed victory at the par-five next by holing from close range to match Manning birdie to try and extend the contest.
The first edition of The Match was played in 2018 at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas, where Mickelson beat Tiger Woods in a winner-take-all $9 million showdown, while Woods and Manning defeated Mickelson and Tom Brady at Medalist Golf Club back in May.