Woods, Manning win a TV charity match as good as real thing

HOBE SOUND, FLORIDA - MAY 24: Tiger Woods and former NFL player Peyton Manning celebrate defeating Phil Mickelson and NFL player Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the 18th green during The Match: Champions For Charity at Medalist Golf Club on May 24, 2020 in Hobe Sound, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images for The Match)
HOBE SOUND, FLORIDA - MAY 24: Tiger Woods and former NFL player Peyton Manning celebrate defeating Phil Mickelson and NFL player Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the 18th green during The Match: Champions For Charity at Medalist Golf Club on May 24, 2020 in Hobe Sound, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images for The Match) (2020 Getty Images)

Tom Brady delivered the shot of the match that made it easy to forget the rest of his swings. Tiger Woods didn't miss a fairway and earned a small measure of revenge against Phil Mickelson.

The PGA Tour is set to return in just over two weeks, and it has a tough act to follow.

In the second and final charity match that brought live golf to TV, this exhibition was as entertaining as the real thing.

Woods lagged a long birdie putt close enough that his partner, Peyton Manning, didn't have to putt. That secured a 1-up victory over Mickelson and Brady in “The Match: Champions for Charity.”

The goal was to raise $10 million or more for COVID-19 relief funds, and online donations sent money climbing toward about twice that much.

This made-for-TV exhibition would have been worth pay-per-view, the model Woods and Mickelson used for a $9 million winner-take-all match in Las Vegas over Thanksgiving weekend in 2018 that Mickelson won in a playoff under lights. It felt forced, lacked banter and turned out to free because of technical issues.

Throw in two NFL greats in Brady and Manning, and this allowed viewers to ride along for 18 holes at Medalist Golf Club among four of the biggest stars in sports.

Justin Thomas pitched in as an on-course reporter, bringing a mixture of humor and insight with the right amount of words.